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Helping Bristol businesses become cyber resilient

Over 30 local Bristol businesses have signed up to the South West Cyber Resilience Centre (SWCRC) to protect themselves against cyber fraud.

Earlier in the year, PCC Mark Shelford was joined by the SWCRC team, Cyber Protect officers and Neighbourhood Police Officers for a walkabout of Gloucester Road in Bristol. The group spoke to local businesses about the impact of cyber fraud, how to become resilient against scams and free guidance provided by SWCRC.

According to a National Cyber Security Centre recent campaign, in 2022 around four in ten businesses identified a cyber-attack. In the same year, businesses that reported an email or social media hack were small or medium businesses and the average annual cost of cyber-attack for micro or small businesses was £3,080. The impact does not include the serious reputational damage and disruption the organisations also face in the wake of an attack.

SWCRC is a way for policing to help businesses resolve the digital threat they face and provides a 12-week bite-sized information programme in becoming cyber safe, a free consultation and a regular monthly update on new scams and threats.

Avon and Somerset Police’s Cyber Protect team also offer free training packages to organisations and businesses, which discuss cybercrime myths and how employees can help prevent cyberattacks.

“Small businesses and local organisations are the backbone of the UK but cyber criminals continue to take advantage of them. I do not underestimate the impact that a cyber-attack can have on such businesses, not only financial, but the reputational and emotional impact such crime can cause.

“Prevention is key to stopping cyber fraud and this can only be achieved through educating one another to become cyber resilient. It is vital that we raise awareness of the free services that both the SWCRC and Avon and Somerset Police can provide to help businesses protect themselves against cyber crime.”

PCC Mark Shelford

“Avon and Somerset Police’s Cyber Protect Team were delighted to partner with the SWCRC team in our joint effort to raise awareness of how cybercrime can impact small businesses.

“During the day, we were able to inform local small businesses in Bristol about the free services we offer to the public, including a variety of different training packages with organisations that help breakdown the common myths associated with cybercrime.

“We look to highlight how it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent a cyberattack and explain how organisation’s employees are the first line of defence. To enquire how our team can support your organisation, please email”

Cyber Protect Officer Megan Haldane

“It was clear from the day’s conversations that most local businesses are now suffering from scam emails and regular cyber threats.

“With the SWCRC, regional policing has developing a compelling offer to help support and protect businesses. Combined with the existing cyber expertise from Avon and Somerset, we are establishing a strong foundation to keep the business community safer online. While – sadly – we couldn’t work the entirety of Bristol’s streets in a day, we’d invite those who missed us to find out more about the SWCRC by either joining or dropping us a line about any cyber-related matters they might require support with.”

Director of the SWCRC Mark Moore

Take Five To Stop Fraud advice

  • Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040. In an emergency, call 999.