Detective becomes finalist in national award
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A Leicestershire detective’s dedication in dealing with cyber-crime has been recognised after he was a finalist in a national award.
Detective Constable Matt Garside has been working within the force’s cyber-crime unit for a number of years and has dealt with some complex cases.
His dedication in this area and can-do approach saw him being nominated by a number of colleagues and resulting in him being chosen as a finalist in the Cyber Policing Individual of the Year award category at the National Cyber Awards.
The ceremony took place in London on Tuesday evening (28 September) and was sponsored by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and The Chartered Institute of Information Security. Matt (pictured) was one of ten finalists from police forces across the country.
Cyber-crime is a very complex area which requires expertise and commitment, Matt has demonstrated that on a number of occasions. One of those investigations related to a data breach at a school, when the systems were hacked and data was stolen. DC Garside pursued a number of lines of enquiry to build up a picture of the extent of the crime and effect on victims in a bid to identify the perpetrator. Subsequently a suspect was identified and enquiries continue.
In a separate case, membership details from an outdoor activities company were stolen from their system. This data breach affected over a dozen people across the country and Matt’s persistence resulted in a suspect being identified. This investigation remains ongoing.
As well as dealing with the investigative work Matt is an empathetic and patient listener. During one such incident a woman had contacted the police on a number of occasions believing that she had been a victim of cyber-crime.
Matt spent a number of hours with her to educate and reassure her that her information had not been comprised and she just needed to ensure her computer devices were secure. She was feeling harassed and victimised as a result of believing she was being targeted. With all of Matt’s understanding and support she felt reassured, confident, began engaging socially again and stopped making reports to the police.
This shows how Matt looks beyond the offences he investigates and sees the person behind the reports. Putting the victim at the centre of all he does.
Detective Sergeant Lee Taylor from the force’s Digital Hub, said: “As well as Matt’s cyber-crime role he also works as a Prevent officer, engaging with those identified as being suitable for contact to disengage them from potential illegal activities and seeking to encourage lawful and positive use of the skills they have.
“Many of the people he engages with have either been diagnosed or are suspected to have Autism spectrum disorder. He works closely with the individual and their families and at times can have up to eight referrals at a time to deal with. He takes time to understand each of their needs, triggers, interests, skills and abilities. He will ensure the individuals needs are met so they feel engaged, listened to, challenged and are achieving that which might otherwise have only been met through borderline criminality.
“He takes so much time with each person and clearly demonstrates a wish to see them on a positive pathway.
“Matt was nominated for this award by a number of his colleagues and this just shows how high an esteem he is held in. We are pleased that he was selected as a finalist in this category. This is a testament to his hard work and dedication. Matt truly does go above and beyond.”