iPROCEEDS-2: Workshop on cybercrime and cybersecurity trends and statistics in North Macedonia

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Statistics on cybercrime and electronic evidence is an essential tool to quantify the threat level raised by different forms of cybercrimes and cyber-enabled crimes, to support more efficient investigations and prosecutions, and to allow legitimate strategic decisions of policymakers and regulators.

Sometimes there are flaws in procedures related to the collection of statistics on cybercrime and electronic evidence, which negatively impact the process of combating cybercrimes. Lack of centralisation and coordination, partially accessible or non-functioning reporting systems, poor collection and collation of data are just a few barriers ahead of any implementation of an effective cybercrime endeavour.

All these difficulties could undermine the efforts of the criminal justice system to reduce the level of threat and harm caused by criminal behaviour, so it is crucial to address them through structured discussions.

The Cybercrime Programme Office (C-PROC), and the iPROCEEDS-2 project, a joint action of the European Union and the Council of Europe, supported the North Macedonian authorities to enhance their knowledge and competence in the cybercrime and cybersecurity trends and statistics areas, by organising an online workshop, bridging its experts with North Macedonian interested authorities.

The workshop was held on 16 February 2022 and was attended by more than 20 professionals from North Macedonian institutions. Representatives from OSCE Mission to Skopje also participated in this event.

The opening of the event was addrresed by the representatives of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of North Macedonia, and the Council of Europe Programme Office in Skopje, who welcomed all participants and stressed the importance of this activity for North Macedonian authorities.

North Macedonian participants were informed on the relevance of categories of statistical data, the mechanisms for collection of data, and the different roles state institutions should have. They also became more familiar on the importance of a strategic approach, the main element of the national situation reports on cybercrime and e-evidence. The  “Guide for criminal justice statistics on cybercrime and electronic evidence” publicly available here, developed by the Council of Europe, was introduced with the aim of guiding the national efforts in building up the capacities to collect cybercrime and e-evidence statistics.

The iPROCEEDS-2 project will continue to provide support and guidance to interested authorities in the South-East Europe and Turkey, especially in the given context when capacity building support is more important than ever.