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Cybercrime, Stalking and Fraud on the afternoon panel at CSI Portsmouth 2012

Afternoon Panel at CSI Portsmouth 2013The afternoon panel guests at CSI Portsmouth 2012 on Saturday 3 November crime authors Ann Cleeves and Pauline Rowson and crime experts from Hampshire Police, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Surrey were grilled by Cheryl Buggy, Station Director of  Express FM radio, in a lively debate of crime fiction versus crime fact.

Over a hundred and sixty people attended the one day event held at the John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth to hear police and crime experts talk about their work and to listen to the crime authors talking about their novels.

The audience also had the chance to put their questions to the panel and to talk to the team from the fingerprint bureau and students from the Forensic Science course from South Downs College who provided a crime scene.

During the afternoon the audience were whisked away from gruesome crime scenes of the morning panel debate to cybercrime, fraud and stalking. 

Adrian Fretter, Professor Bran Nicol and Dr Mark ButtonAdrian Fretter, from the Hi-Tech CrimeUnit of Hampshire Police, explained how ever changing technologies present major challenges for the police and how the public’s perception of crime solving has been raised to an unrealistic level in recent years because of the popularity of CSI programmes on television. Adrian also told the audience that sharing so much information across the web including personal details such as date of birth was potentially dangerous and could lead to identity theft and fraud, a sentiment that was echoed by fraud expert Dr Mark Button from the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Mark Button, Director of the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, and Associate Head Curriculum at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth has written extensively on counter fraud and private policing issues. He relayed a harrowing tale of one individual whose bank account had been hacked into and using this and personal details stolen from the Internet the criminal had purchased and downloaded obscene images resulting in the innocent man’s arrest. Eventually the criminal was apprehended and the innocent man’s name cleared but his reputation and life had been left permanently scarred.

In For The Kill - thriller by Pauline Rowson It was a case of fact and fiction merging as Pauline Rowson told the audience how this echoed the plot outline of one of her thrillers In For The Kill. In the novel Alex Albury is arrested and imprisoned for fraud and embezzlement after his identity has been stolen and his computer hacked into. On his release from prison Alex sets out to find the man who destroyed his reputation and his life.

When asked by Cheryl Buggy whether his research into Stalking had made him more cynical Professor Bran Nicol said that it had made him more aware of the fine line between what is perceived as normal banter and acceptable behaviour and what could potentially be construed as stalking and lead to more dangerous behaviour.

Professor of English Literature at the University of Surrey, Professor Nicol’s book, Stalking, was shortlisted for the 2007 Times Higher Young Academic Author of the Year award, and has been translated into Italian, Korean, and Japanese. He has appeared on many radio programmes and featured in the documentary Stalked - to Death, for the Irish channel, TV 3. He spoke of how the Internet is changing the nature of stalking and how the accessibility of the Internet and the increasing amount of personal information on it had the potential to expose individuals to more crime, a sentiment that was echoed by both Dr Button and Adrian Fretter.

Ann Cleeves and Pauline RowsonAnn Cleeves, author of the Vera series of crime novels adapted for ITV said that she kept the use of technology to a minimum in her books. Ann stressed the importance of individuals of all ages having access to well-equipped libraries run by professional librarians, which could offer up a diverse range of literature across all genres.

Pauline Rowson signing copies of her crime novels at CSI Portsmouth 2012The afternoon panel session ended with a book signing by the authors and there was the chance for the audience to talk individually to the authors and experts.

DVD CSI Portsmouth 2012CSI Portsmouth 2012 - DVD Now Available

Running Time 2hrs. 17 mins.

Cost £20 plus £3.50 postage and packaging.

To order or for enquiries outside the UK please e mail using the Contact Us form

CSI Portsmouth 2012 is the third year of this popular event, the brainchild of Pauline Rowson who organises it with Portsmouth City Council Library Service and the Hayling Island Bookshop. Part of Portsmouth BookFest it is fast becoming a major fixture in the crime fiction festival calendar. 

CSI Portsmouth 2013 will take place on Saturday 2 November. More details to follow.

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NOVEMBER 7TH, 2012 @ 7:00:04 UTC

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