Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Charlotte Hooper: supporting victims of cybercrime

Profile photo of Charlotte Hooper

Charlotte studied BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Justice at ARU and intended to use her degree to go into a career in policing. But, while volunteering with The Cyber Helpline as part of a placement module, she saw a gap in support for victims of cybercrime.

Here, Charlotte shares her story.

The Cyber Helpline is a charity that supports victims of cybercrime and online harms through support and advocacy.

The gap in support for victims of cybercrime and online harm is sizeable. Millions of victims are left to fend for themselves against cybercriminals or malicious individuals. The impact is huge, from loss of life to significant financial loss. Working with victims, I saw this impact first hand and realised not only that I could help them directly, but could help build a new approach to victim support in this area.

I began volunteering with The Cyber Helpline in May 2019 and worked directly with victims. In this role, I helped hundreds of victims understand what had happened to them, contain the issue, recover and learn from their experience.

My passion, drive and capability were picked up by The Cyber Helpline leadership team and I was promoted to Helpline Manager, a voluntary role where I've helped us deliver and grow our service.

Soon after, I was invited to join the Board of Directors and have played a significant role in helping to grow the award-winning charity. I eventually became its first employee.

In my role with The Cyber Helpline I've helped thousands of victims, supported hundreds of volunteers with their development, provided expert training to UK police forces and international organisations, spoken at industry conferences, supported fundraising, and significantly contributed to the growth of the charity.

My work in the industry has not gone unnoticed. Outside of The Cyber Helpline, I have recently been awarded 'One to Watch' in the Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards and have been invited to contribute to national and international media, including newspapers and documentaries.

I have also supported Home Office-funded research projects and various research studies. My research and reporting specialisms include digital violence against women and girls, cyberstalking, and open-source intelligence.

Combatting cybercrime is a small but growing industry and I have supported its growth, beginning a student placement scheme in my charity which has partnered with ARU to give more students the opportunity to learn about cybercrime and develop their skills.