14 Feb 2012

Police tackle cyber crime with three new eCrime hubs

Cyber crime has been identified in the National Security Risk Assessment as a ‘tier one’ threat.

This means that cyber crime is considered to be as potentially dangerous as international terrorism, an international military crisis or a major accident or natural hazard requiring a national response.

To fight digital threats to security UK police have launched three new eCrime hubs in Yorkshire and the Humber, the Northwest and the East Midlands. Officer training for the hubs began this month.

A fund of £30 million has been granted by the Government to improve the police’s national capability to investigate and combat cyber crime.

ACPO lead on eCrime Deputy Assistant Commissioner Janet Williams said the hubs are expected to make a significant contribution to the national harm reduction target of £504 million.

The three new units will work alongside the Metropolitan Police Centre e-Crime Unit (PCeU) which was established in October 2008 as part of the National e-Crime Programme.

The PCeU is jointly fund by the Home Office and Metropolitan Police to provide a national investigative response to the most serious incidents of cyber crime including computer intrusion, distribution of malicious code, denial of service attack and internet-enabled fraud.

In September last year, 11 people were charged over online fraud allegations which saw £6 million stolen from bank accounts using virus software to access people’s internet banking log-in details from thousands of computers. They were held under the Computer Misuse Act, the Proceeds of Crime Act and the Fraud Act.

James Brokenshire, Minister for Crime and Security, said: “Cyber crime is a threat locally and nationally, and every police force in the country has to deal with its impact on people and businesses in their area.

“As well as leading the fight in their regions, these units mark a significant step forward in developing a national response to cyber crime, which will be driven by the new National Crime Agency.”