Only 65 Of The 17,900 Computer Hacking Cases Resulted In Prosecution

Despite around $600 billion being lost to cyber crime each year, less than 1% of global crimes result in a prosecution.

According to London based law firm, RPC, the UK successfully prosecuted 65 cases for computer hacking last year.

Whilst this represented a 38% increase on the 47 prosecutions in 2017, the fact that over 17,900 cases of computer hacking were reported in 2018 shows the UK’s ineptitude in catching these criminals following a successful attack.

According to the ‘Fraud: Time to Choose’ report completed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire Rescue Service, some police forces were actively seeking reasons to avoid investigating allegations of fraud with one police force filing 96% of the fraud cases it received as requiring ‘no further action’ from when the claim was made.

64% of police forces that were monitored during the completion of the report were unable to provide basic data relating to the demand presented by fraud. 7 out of 11 forces were unaware if the reports of fraud resulted in any police activity and investigation.

Police forces were also accused of lacking a standardised approach to fraud, even within the same police department. Overall, crucial intelligence products provided by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, such as monthly victim lists, were being used ineffectually. One police force only used these vital resources as a measure of victims rather than a way of determining people who may need support or active crimes that may need investigating.

Whilst the report had some sympathy for understaffed police departments that were left with a skeleton staff to protect the nation, the view that police commissioners do not value fraud as a legitimate threat because these crimes do not “bang, bleed or shout” is being forced to change in the future.

When the success rate of authorised push payment fraud is also on the rise with £354.3 million successfully stolen last year, the need for a robust, standardised and coordinated police response becomes clear.

Cyber crime should not only be pursued when it poses a national risk; especially when it is having such a dent on the national and global economy.

Richard Breavington, partner at London law firm RPC, says:

“Unfortunately, police action is not much of a dent in the problem of cyber crime.

“Cyber crime has become accepted as a low-risk, potentially high-reward activity for organised criminals. If they act professionally, they can make substantial sums of money with very little chance of being caught.

“Understandably the priorities for policing cyber crime have been in areas which have a potential nation state impact. A result is that the rise of less sensitive cybercrime has gone largely unchecked and it has been left largely to the private sector to deal with.

“Cyber attacks can take a significant financial toll on businesses and yet relatively few actually have cyber insurance policies. Businesses cannot solely rely on the police so paying for private sector help through insurance can hold real value.”