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What is a Cyber Volunteer?

A Cyber/Digital Volunteer is someone who gives their free time to help prevent crime and harm by applying their digital skills in support of our policing teams. Cyber Volunteers can help us to catch criminals; to examine digital media; to gather online intelligence; to teach, to protect and to give advice to companies, communities and individuals.

Our modern policing service needs to be able to tackle cyber dependant crimes like hacking and denial of service attacks. We need to prevent and detect cyber enabled crime like fraud, child sexual exploitation and revenge pornography. We need to know how to find people and evidence online and through digital devices. We have some amazing police officers and staff tackling these threats, but we can achieve much more with people who have the skills and the time to help us.

Do you know your “Anonymizing Proxies” from your “Zombies”? Do you know where you are with adware, malware, ransomware or spyware? At the mention of the word “Cookie” do you think of computer chips rather than chocolate chips? To be a Cyber/Digital Volunteer you don’t need to be a cyber security expert, you just need to have some existing skills, expertise or competence in the digital world. You tell us your skills, we’ll see where you can help.

Our Cyber Crime Team are particularly keen to hear from staff that have specific skills and knowledge around:

  • Network structures and familiarity of the open systems interconnection model (OSI). 
  • Workings of TCP/IP and DNS and a knowledge of data servers that function on Windows and Linux operating systems incorporating the ability to decipher server log records.
  • Working knowledge of Website Design - HTML coding and domain name registration.
  • Working knowledge of python. 
  • Malware - Up to date knowledge in latest Malware types, including the identification, operation and eradication. 
  • Open Source - Experience in traversing the world wide web to collect information.  This would extend to deep web databases and the collection of material from the dark web.
  • Cyber Protect - Awareness in GDPR and being cyber essentials compliant

If you have these or any other digital skills you think you could help us with, and have the time and energy to play a part in policing, then we’d love you to volunteer with us.

How will it work?

Once we receive your application we’ll review what skills and availability you have and where we think you can provide the best support. As a Cyber/Digital Volunteer you will be partnered with a member of Essex Police in a team and role that suits the skills you bring. Before you start we’ll get someone from that team to check your suitability for the role with you in more detail. Providing this works out you’ll need to pass our force vetting, but once that’s cleared you can start your volunteering.

There’s no minimum expectation on volunteering time, but long gaps may mean vetting expires, so we hope you can volunteer regularly. You’ll have a named supervisor who will keep in contact with you and support you through your voluntary service.

The type of volunteering will depend on your skills. You might be an expert we call on when we get big stuff we’re less expert at, you might be someone that comes in several times a week to help our digital media advisors examine smartphones. You might get involved by helping us progress our big data ideas. The volunteering will be tailored to you so it works for us both.

If you’re interested there’s also the chance to be part of a national cyber volunteering database so that your skills can be utilised to support other forces or the National Crime Agency if needed.

How to apply

Please complete and return the Cyber Volunteer application form to [email protected].

If you or anyone who may be interested in joining as a Cyber Volunteer require more details please email [email protected].

Anglia Ruskin University logoAn extra Special Opportunity

We also offer volunteering opportunities in the Special Constabulary. Special Constables are volunteer Police Officers. They have the same police powers, uniforms and equipment as regular Police Officers but sacrifice their free time on a voluntary basis. There’s loads more information on being a Special on our Specials page.

If you’re interested in being a Cyber/Digital Volunteer, but also interested in being a Special, then why not combine the two and be a Cyber/Digital Special. As a Special you’d undertake our extensive training programme and then once attested you could also volunteer your digital skills, either in a specialist team or as an occasional resource to call upon.  If you’d like to know more about how that could work then submit an enquiry to [email protected].

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