THE Organised Crime and Investigation Division (OCID) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force has charged 43 persons with various offences under the Cybercrimes Act since 2010.
The charges included unauthorised access to computer data, access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of an offence, and unlawful possession of a device.
Since the start of this year, 17 persons have been charged under this Act, representing an increase of approximately 50 per cent over the eight persons who were slapped with cybercrime charges in 2010.
Of the eight persons charged in 2010, four have been convicted. Three of them were sentenced to six to nine months hard labour and one sentenced to 12 months probation order.
The OCID data indicates that unlawful use of devices and unauthorised access to computer data were the major breaches.
Since the start of this year the Electronic Fraud Task Force and the Communication, Forensics and Cybercrimes units operating out of OCID, have taken measures to crack down on electronic fraud and remain diligent in protecting the nation's private electronic information.
Head of OCID, Senior Superintendent Clifford Chambers is imploring individuals to use their technical skills and expertise to develop themselves and their communities, instead of becoming involved in cybercrimes.
"There are endless opportunities in the field of computer science, which is listed among the top five sought after jobs," SSP Chambers noted.
OCID, he said, will continue to pursue cybercriminals diligently to ensure that they pay for the crimes committed and for the damage inflicted on individuals and businesses.
SSP Chambers also underscored the significant impact cybercrimes continue to have on individuals and businesses which fall victim to these acts.
"The OCID has driven several initiatives to reduce cybercrimes including a public awareness programme, where we visit businesses and schools to improve the awareness of the public on ways to prevent or minimise the risks of these crimes. We are gaining some traction but our work is never done and we will continue to sensitise in order to prevent," Chambers said.
The senior police officer also appealed for information from anyone who may have been a victim of cybercrimes to contact OCID at 967-1389/922-3771, Crime Stop at 311, www.tipsubmit.com , Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.