We spoke with Superintendent Hilary Sloan from Police Scotland about the benefits of working in partnership to support cyber crime prevention messaging.

Tell us a bit about your background and your journey so far in the field of cyber security and crime prevention.

I have been a Superintendent for the last five years, working in Local Policing in both Glasgow and Ayrshire Divisions, in operational and HR/Support roles.  I was appointed to Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing in July 2021 and am responsible for all Harm Prevention in Police Scotland.  This includes the Cyber Harm Prevention Team and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre Team, both of whom do outstanding work on a daily basis to provide prevention advice to businesses and organisations, to reduce the chances of them becoming victims of crime and support after any crime reported, to reduce the chances of revictimisation.  I am a real advocate of prevention and that collaborative, public health approach, promulgating same throughout my 25 years police service. 

According to you where is the strength in collaboration?

Police Scotland is a strong advocate of the CyberScotland Partnership. For us, the strength of the membership lies in the rich variety of partners from across the public and voluntary sectors. It allows us to harmonise our individual organisation‘s skillsets and provide a credible voice in relation to crime prevention, education, careers and most importantly, support, when people are in crisis and need help.

How does working in partnership benefit your organisation and your audience?

The Partnership has been extremely helpful in supporting our cybercrime prevention messaging. We have worked on joint campaigns with various member organisations, delivering presentations to businesses, charities, schools, parent/carer groups etc. Our audience is so diverse that we need the assistance of the group to amplify our messaging to all communities across Scotland. 

We have tapped into the Partnership to jointly create and share resources, using their knowledge and expertise to ensure that the messaging is on-point and appropriate for the target audience.

We want to hear why you signed-up to join this partnership and what is it you bring to this network?

Police Scotland is a founding member of the group and had strongly advocated for this type of co-operation from across the sectors.  The scale of cybercrime in its many forms cannot be tackled by a single organisation which is why we championed the concept from the outset.  We believe that the way forward lies very much in prevention.  We tap into the many fantastic resources provided by our colleagues across the Partnership to ensure that the online environment in Scotland is a safe place to work, learn and play and we can only achieve that by working together.

Hilary has 24 years police service, having worked mostly in Greater Glasgow in a number of uniformed roles, including Emergencies Planning; SIO for Road Traffic collisions whilst an Inspector within OSD Roads Policing; Chief Inspector for Events Planning and Partnerships; Area Commander for Glasgow South East; Support and Service Delivery Superintendent for 2500 officers and staff, Operations Superintendent in Greater Glasgow and Ayrshire Divisions and now in her national role within Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing, delivering on the public health approach and collaboration.
Her present portfolio encompasses Harm Prevention, with national responsibility for Violence Prevention, which includes: Stop and Search, Violence Prevention and Licensing Co-ordination Unit, Community Improvement Partnership with Wheatley Group and Victims and Witnesses.  It also encompasses Substance Harm Prevention, Cyber Crime Prevention, Rural and Acquisitive Crime, including Water Safety and partnership with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre.  Hilary is also leading on Your Safety Matters nationally. 
Hilary is also an operationally and occupationally competent Tactical Firearms Commander (TFC) and an Event Policing Lead (EPL), having been Silver Commander for TRNSMT 2018 at Glasgow Green, concerts at Bellahouston Park, Ibrox and Hampden and for football fixtures at Hampden and Ibrox, up to and including CAT C/IR matches.  Hilary is also a College of Policing accredited Coach and Mentor, an Assessor for Fast Track Assessment Centres managed by the College of Policing and a Post Incident Manager. 
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