Less physical violence but emotionally the damage is just as great and can ‘ruin’ retirement plans, etc.

ONS figures show that there were 2m offences of computer misuse and 3.8m fraud offences in England & Wales last year. Those are the estimates from the Office for National Statistics’ Crime Survey.  This is the first time the ONS has published fraud & computer misuse figures from the victims’ survey.

The fact that there were almost 6m of these offences is a stark reminder of how crime is changing as criminals become ever more technically capable.  As people live more of their lives online, the potential for the internet to be used by criminals to target people increases.

Researched Links:

techUK:  6m cyber crime & fraud offences last year

Not if, but when

Recognising most ICT managers are not computer security experts

Constant threat is the new norm for digital organisations; even charities!

Unisys:  Government Data is Under Siege: Latest Industry Insight on Challenges Facing Public Sector

Ensuring the safety of the UK

It’s so essential, the Government is helping to pay for it

The ‘problem’ grows every day

ICO:  Your reputation can be stolen or leaked away

Has it happened elsewhere in the UK and can it happen again?

LGA:  Millions of miles knocked off cars in ‘clocking' surge, councils warn

Joint Fraud Taskforce calls on the public’s help to catch ten wanted fraudsters

Leeds businessman receives record jail sentence over £2.2m recycling fraud

NCA report calls for stronger law enforcement & business partnership to fight cyber crime

Social care leaders urged to consider options for managing identity & authentication online for service users and providers

Audit Scotland:  Data sharing uncovers nearly £17m of fraud & error

Procurement tool targets bid-rigging cheats

How can online identity schemes help the digital revolution asks BCS report

LGA - Music and sports fans at risk of huge rise in online ticket fraud, warn councils

FCA campaign to protect public from investment fraud

Charities remain at risk of online extortion demands - Lizard Squad

New plans to tackle corporate fraud

Council crackdown on rogue traders operating in the black economy

New measures and greater clarity needed to fight tax fraud

Marcus Jones: Don’t let fraudsters cheat us out of vital services

AXELOS:  Reputation, reputation, reputation: what matters most to us all

Directors’ personal data is gold dust for cyber criminals

Does cyber risk reduce the viability of your business?

Lack of cyber security awareness among employees putting UK organizations at risk

You may not even realise you have been hacked

Lessons have not been learned from the realisation that a Russian website was providing links to access baby monitor cameras, says the UK’s data protection watchdog.  The launch of a website that allowed people to watch footage from insecure cameras around the world prompted a warning from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in 2014.

But the regulator has recently warned many people are still not ensuring the security of their connected devices. This means Internet of Things (IoT) products such as baby monitors, music systems and photo or document storage which can be accessed online are at risk of revealing your personal details to other people.

A lack of security when it comes to IoT devices could mean that a search engine is used by criminals to locate vulnerable devices and then gain access to them or others on your home network. An attacker could then use your equipment to mount attacks on others or take your personal data to commit identity fraud.

Researched Links:

ICO:  UK families still at risk from baby monitor hacking style attacks

Public must act to protect themselves when using Internet of Things devices

Security is still keeping IT professionals awake at night according to BCS survey

Internet of Things: balancing benefits with data security

Help make the IoT ‘safe’

Less James Bond; more Alan Turing & Gordon Welchman

nquiringminds: making cities smarter places to live & work

techUK:  IoT Devices Expected to Outnumber Mobile Phones

Big Data and IoT worth £322bn to the UK by 2020

AGI Foresight Report 2020 – location intelligence vital to connecting a ‘Digital Earth’

Manchester wins £10m prize to become world leader in ‘smart city’ technology

Smart-home business bought by British Gas for £65m

If it works and is ‘secure’


Are there Unknown Devices and IT Assets on Your Network?
Find out how NHS Dumfries & Galloway have achieved complete visibility and reduced the risk of data breach

The foundation of IT security is control…But how do you control what you can't see?

An increasingly mobile workforce has led to government and public sector organisations now having to manage hundreds, thousands, if not millions, of IT assets across their networks. Until recently it was almost impossible to keep an up-to-date inventory and to know what IT assets exist in the environment, where they’re located, who manages them and their associated security risks.

You can now see and search across ALL your IT assets in seconds — whether on-premise, cloud-based, or mobile. A free AssetView scan will allow you to discover how organisations such as NHS Dumfries & Galloway have achieved complete visibility and reduced the risk of data breach.

Click here to find out how access your free AssetView scan now.

Life is what you make of it mostly

We shouldn’t fear a lonely old age because loneliness is far from inevitable, according to a study funded by the ESRC.  Using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), Professor Christina Victor’s research suggests only 10% of people over 50 complain of significant loneliness – a figure which has remained unchanged since the 1940s.

One of the major stereotypes prevalent in our society is that old age is almost guaranteed to be a time of loneliness,” suggests Professor Victor, from Brunel University London.  “Interestingly our findings indicate this ‘lonely’ group is made up of three distinct sub-groups.

“For half of them loneliness appears to have been established for at least ten years and is, we suspect, possibly a lifelong experience. Then we have ‘lonely’ people who are moving into loneliness (possibly due to a bereavement) and those moving out of loneliness (perhaps because they have adjusted to changed circumstances).  Crucially, lonely people are not a heterogeneous group.”

… “One of our most interesting findings is that expectations of loneliness are strongly associated with loneliness outcomes,” she explains.   “In other words, loneliness is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy: those who believed that loneliness was a normal part of ageing, were more likely experience loneliness as they grew older.”  And while pets do not necessarily protect against loneliness, strong social networks certainly do.

Researched Links:

ESRC:  Fears of loneliness in old age are largely unfounded

NICE guidelines for promoting independence & mental wellbeing for older people

Campaign to End Loneliness

People need people

Age UK:  Loneliness among older men with poor health a growing problem

How arts & cultural projects are proving life doesn’t end when Dementia begins

£9.5m to design new solutions for the UK’s ageing population

Funding to pilot new way of supporting Suffolk's rural groups

BHF:  Study links loneliness and heart disease

LGA:  Councils respond to report on loneliness & isolation

Homeshare opens new doors to independent living for older & younger people

NICE:  Membership of social groups after retirement ‘boosts health & wellbeing’

ScotGov:  Tackling loneliness

New research finds arts and culture helps combat loneliness among old people

Sporting memories charity kicks off new year with vital funding

LGA:  Councils & charities find innovative ways to tackle loneliness this Christmas

Britain must do more to tackle ‘virus of social isolation’ says EHRC

Most people in the UK are less lonely – apart from men with low qualifications

Demos:  An Invisible Failing - Veterans Need Targeted Support to Rehabilitate & Fulfil their Potential

Breaking the mould of loneliness – Paula Bee

1,400 digital champions to bring the benefits of being online to thousands

NICE:  New advice on mental wellbeing of older people in care homes marks bold step forward

Kris Hopkins sees cutting edge homes for older people in Milton Keynes

Advocacy champions older people affected by cancer

Compassion & empowerment for older people in England

PX:  Internet training would cut pensioner loneliness

PX:  Technology Manifesto

A healthier outcome which could be self-financing

A report published last week shows an NHS programme to train vulnerable people to use the internet has led to over half feeling more confident to manage their health, 21% making fewer calls or visits to their GP and 6% making fewer trips to A&E.  This behaviour change is estimated to have saved the NHS £6m in avoided GP and A&E visits in just 12 months.

As a result of the Widening Digital Participation programme, run by NHS England and Tinder Foundation, 59% of learners report feeling more confident to use online tools to manage their health, 65% feel more informed and 52% say they feel less lonely with 62% saying they feel happier as a result of social contact, an important indicator for overall well-being.

Searching online for symptoms & medications advice and using digital health tools such as apps help patients to take a more active role in monitoring & self-managing their condition.  However, there are currently 12.6m people living in the UK who lack the digital skills to use the internet in this way.  These people tend to be older and more likely to be in poverty with high health & social care needs.

The programme has reached over 220,000 to date, targeting some of the hardest to reach communities, with 82% of those trained experiencing at least one form of social exclusion including unemployment, disability and homelessness.  This follows the recommendation made by Martha Lane Fox in December 2015, to increase take-up of internet enabled services in health and care by designing digital tools and training programmes to ‘reach the ‘furthest first’.

Researched Links:

NHS England:  New findings reveal NHS initiative to get vulnerable people online has dramatically improved their health & wellbeing and reduced demand for front line services

Online for better health

NHS innovates to provide better care

Reboot UK: improving health & wellbeing through digital technology

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

Will the advantages of this change outweigh the disadvantages (especially for the students building up debt)?

Following a consultation on reforms to the education funding for nursing, midwifery & allied health professional (AHP) students, the government has set out its plans to keep healthcare courses accessible for all.

Currently, two thirds of people who apply to become a nurse aren’t accepted for training - we are committed to plans which could mean up to 10,000 more home-grown nurses, midwives and allied health professionals by the end of this parliament, with those in training getting around 25% more financial support while they study.

We’ve listened to feedback from the consultation and as a result will provide extra funding to help cover additional expenses like travel and more support for students with children.  We will work with the RCN and other partners in taking this forward.

Researched Links:

DH:  Plans for changing healthcare education funding

Civitas:  End the limit on medical training places to reduce dependency on overseas doctors

Civitas:  Limits on nurse training numbers should be scrapped

No coherent attempt to assess headcount implications of 7-day NHS

Number of nurse training places in Wales to increase by 10% in £85m Welsh Government investment

Creating a modern nursing workforce

Farmers should act now to avoid ‘feeling blue’ this autumn

Bluetongue vaccines for sheep & cattle are now available across Britain, with supplies approved for use in vet practices.  There is a high risk of an outbreak of Bluetongue (BTV-8) towards the end of the summer as a result of infected midges being blown across the English Channel from France, where the disease is present.  

The disease affects all ruminants, but particularly cattle & sheep.  It poses no threat to human health and does not affect meat, milk or other animal products.  Vaccination is the best way to protect Britain’s livestock, and farmers are being encouraged to talk to their vets to decide if the vaccine could help their businesses.

Researched Links:

Defra:  Bluetongue vaccine now available for farmers in Britain

Bluetongue risk: farmers urged to remain vigilant

Could you help ‘shape’ healthcare services?

NHS England is committed to ensuring that public & patient voices are at the centre of shaping our healthcare services. Every level of our commissioning system needs to be informed by insightful methods of listening to those who use & care about our services to inform service development.

There are a range of opportunities for the public, patients, carers and patient representative organisations to get involved in shaping the work of NHS England, and we are currently seeking to recruit a Patient and Public Voice (PPV) partner to sit on the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG).  The closing date for all applications is 3 August 2016, with interviews to be held on 11 August.

Researched Links:

NHS England specialised commissioning Patient & Public Voice (PPV) partner opportunity

Potential Neutron Muon Users asked to give their input

The Research Councils are seeking input from their communities in the development of an updated long-term UK strategy for neutron science.  The UK is making a significant contribution to the construction of the world’s next generation neutron facility, the European Spallation Source (ESS) currently being built in Lund, Sweden, and is a founder member of the ESS consortia.

Neutron facilities support a broad range of scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, materials science, biology, engineering and the environmental sciences. They are used to address grand societal challenges, in energy, health care and the environment. Work supported by the facilities provides innovative solutions for industry.

Community input is key, so there will be discussions at Neutron Muon Users Meeting (July 26 - 28). To facilitate these, attendees will be invited to discuss:

  • •What is needed to ensure a sustainable user community for the next 10 years?

You will also be invited to provide comments during the poster session on the following questions:

  • •What neutron future capabilities are needed and which neutron providers are best placed to deliver those capabilities?
  • •What are the barriers to access for new or inexperience users?

If you are unable to attend the NMUM meeting but would like to comment, or if you think of further comments you would like to make, please email neutronstrategy@stfc.ac.uk by 9 September 2016.

Researched Links:

STFC:  Neutron Strategy community input

Editorial CommentarySurely we can come up with some compromises on ‘Free Movement of people’

Even if ‘Brexit means Brexit’ movement of people/workers will continue to some degree, just to ensure the UK’s economy will continue to function smoothly.

Not only is this a ‘hot topic’, it is a massive one covering many areas of the UK economy (including the NHS) so, for the sake of brevity, I will only (briefly) address a few aspects of one area – seasonal farm workers

Most UK residents are generally seeking all-year round jobs for obvious reasons, but farms require peak levels  of staffing for only limited periods of the year, so providing an area of possible ‘agreement’ in the Brexit negotiations.

If we revived a version of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Scheme it would facilitate the ability of workers from the Eastern Europe & Baltic countries to come & earn more than a year’s wages in their ‘homeland’ in just a few months as ‘guest workers’ (i.e. without bringing their families over or receiving state benefits).  The UK government would need to ‘beef-up’ its monitoring & enforcement of pay & conditions to ensure our ‘guests’ were treated fairly and received  their due.  This would help ensure UK workers were not undercut.

In addition we should perhaps consider an online identity system for them (with bio-security measures, photo, etc.), which would have to be periodically validated by the employing farmer so as to ensure a worker didn’t just use his NI number to move on to another area of work (office cleaning, etc.) in competition with UK residents.  The halting of periodic validation could help stop access to public sector services and highlight any ‘over-stayers’. 

It is possible to set up some win/win agreements on the movement of people, but it will take time to address the issues involved so as to ‘deliver’ Brexit.  Not so much ‘Free Movement’ as ‘Agreed Movement’!

Researched Links:

BCS:  How can online identity schemes help the digital revolution asks BCS report

Farmers' fears over loss of seasonal worker scheme - Farmers Weekly

Analysis: Farming's access to labour if the UK left the EU

Migration Watch UK | MW290 : Incentives for Romanian and Bulgarian migration to the UK

Migrant workers | Vulnerable workers | UNISON


 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

UK Government:
CO:  British-Irish Council holds extraordinary summit in Cardiff

ScotGov, Wales & NI:
WAG:  Discussions on EU withdrawal top of Royal Welsh agenda

WAG:  ‘Brexit’ top of the agenda as Cabinet Secretary meets UK Farming Minister at Royal Welsh

WAG:  FM makes case for Wales in meeting with PM

WAG:  Environment & Rural Affairs Secretary welcomes productive talks on EU exit at Royal Welsh

Wales and Northern Ireland Ministers discuss Brexit impact at Royal Welsh Show

WAG:  FM holds Extraordinary British-Irish Council Summit to discuss Brexit

ScotGov:  British-Irish Council to discuss EU

Think Tanks, etc.:
PX:  A vote against the mass immigration society

JRF:  Leave voters felt ignored & left behind as post-Brexit poll reveals extent of economic division across UK

PC&PE:  Starved FCO urgently needs resources for Brexit challenge and opportunities

CBI: 5 key principles for EU negotiations

CBI-MEDEF joint communiqué on Franco-British relations


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  First Minister meets the PM

10DS:  PM to visit Wales to underline her strong personal support for the union


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

When prime minister Theresa May plunged into her major redistribution of functions in Whitehall, did she pause and call in any of the extensive work done by the Institute for Government on reorganisation, or ask civil service head Sir Jeremy Heywood to distil the experience of permanent secretaries with ministers and departments? David Walker thinks not and says the prime minister plunged in without "a shred of analysis".

Also on the network

Why devolution must survive the Brexit vote and move power out of London

Why devolution must survive the Brexit vote and move power out of London
The government needs to publish its objectives and delivery plan for devolution

Reclaiming Britain's abandoned stations, tracks & trains: share your pictures

Reclaiming Britain's abandoned stations, tracks & trains: share your pictures
Devolution has given councils the power to reopen lines that haven’t been used since the 1960s

Public procurement needs urgent reform in the wake of Brexit

Public procurement needs urgent reform in the wake of Brexit
Public sector finance will be hit by the EU referendum but there are still huge savings opportunities

'It was awful, it smelt': the downside of making money from public parks

'It was awful, it smelt': the downside of making money from public parks
MPs have launched an inquiry into councils’ brash attempts to cash in on public parks

News in brief
• Sheffield does billion-pound deal with China
• Universal credit falls five years behind schedule
• New justice secretary pledges to press ahead with reform
• 2,000 jobs 'at risk' in Leeds
• London's garden bridge could need public money