CYBERCRIME increased by 50 per cent in Gwent over the last year, as an expert warned rises were "inevitable".

Figures show that Gwent has seen the fifth largest increase in cybercrime across the UK.

A new study, by ESET, revealed a 19.1 per cent increase in the UK as a whole.

Around three-quarters of reported cybercrimes in the UK fell under ‘hacking’, with just under a quarter involving the installation of computer viruses, malware and spyware.

Hacking social media and email accounts is the most common of all types of cybercrime with 15,367 reports (46.7 per cent) in 2020, followed by computer viruses at 8,103 (24.62 per cent). Personal hacking comes in third with 5,579 (16.95 per cent) in 2020, then hacking extortion at 3,144 (9.55 per cent).

The 50 per cent increase in Gwent was only beaten by Police Scotland (200 per cent), Cheshire ( 67.6 per cent), Surrey (64.7 per cent), and Wiltshire (61.5 per cent).

However, cybercrime still remains a comparatively small issue in Gwent compared to other places.

Between January 2020 and January 2021, there were 12 reports of cybercrime across the region, up from eight the previous year (38.4 reports per 100,000 people).


But London Metropolitan Police saw 5,934 reports during the same period (66.3 reports per 100,000 people), the highest number in the UK.

Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET, warned increases in cybercrime were "inevitable".

He said: "What is initially apparent is that there has been a nationwide increase and cybercriminals will pursue the data rather than target people specifically.

"However, knowledge is the key to reducing cybercrime and where this data has highlighted inevitable increases, it may suggest those areas are lacking in cybersecurity awareness and a focus on education is now necessary.”