Project ROAR: Cybercrime Victims Empowerment

04.09.2019 / 16:50 / News

Between 1% and 15% of Europeans fall victim to a type of cybercrime yearly, which means that between 5 and 76 million people are affected by online fraud, identity theft, cyberbullying or online sexual exploitation[1]. The majority of these attacks go unnoticed and are not reported. Successfully preventing and fighting cybercrime involves an accurate understanding of the phenomenon, as well as of the role of stakeholders in preventing and combating cybercrime, including but not limited to professionals, policy makers and the general public.

The European Commission defines cybercrime as a crime that is committed through the use of electronic communications networks and information systems. It is a crime surpassing national borders and it is believed to occur at increasing rates in the future[2]Project ROAR: Empowering Victims of Cybercrime was designed to foster the prevention and reporting of cybercrime, while improving victim protection and support.

ROAR aims to improve understanding of cybercrime among law enforcement/judicial authorities, to develop pilot specialist victim support units, and to improve cooperation between victim support services and law enforcement/ judicial authorities. ROAR will furthermore promote public-private cooperation, including with the ICT industry, which will play a crucial role in supporting ROAR’s awareness raising and preventive activities. 

Coordinator: Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV).

Partners:
Public Prosecution Office (PGR), Republican National Guard (GNR), Portugal Telecom, Equality and Human Rights Action Centre (Romania), Weisser Ring (Germany).

Funding entity: Internal Security Fund – Police

Starting date: 01-01-2019
Conclusion date: 31-12-2020
Duration: 24 months

Central objective:
To promote the prevention and reporting of cybercrime and improve support to and protection of its victims.

Main activities:
1. Organizing work meetings for multiple stakeholders;
2. Conducting cross-border technical visits;
3. Conducting thematic workshops aimed at legal enforcement agents and judicial authorities;
4. Conducting thematic workshops aimed at children and youth;
5. Implementing an awareness campaign.

Expected results:
1. Contribute to a broad understanding of the cybercrime phenomenon;
2. Improve intersectorial cooperation between victim support services, law enforcement agents, judicial authorities, IT companies and decision-makers;
3. Define procedures and good practices in dealing with cybercrime victims’ needs, especially those of sexual cybercrime;
4. Raise awareness on cyberspace and cybercrime risks, as well as disseminate information on prevention and protection strategies whilst using IT and social networks;
5. Train professionals for a specialized support of cybercrime victims;
6. Create and implement a Pilot Network for Specialized Support of Cybercrime Victims, focusing primarily on sexual cybercrime against children and youth.

[1] Reep-van den Bergh, C.M.M. & Junger, M., “Victims of cybercrime in Europe: a review of victim surveys”, in Crime Science, (2018) 7: 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40163-018-0079-3.

[2] European Commission, Cybercrime: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/cybercrime_en