Specialist Cyber Crime Units Placed In All English Police Forces
The National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) National Cybercrime Programme have announced that all police forces in England and Wales now have a unit dedicated to investigating cyber crime issues.
Previously, only 31% of all forces had a designated cyber crime specialist available to deal with issues involving cyber fraud and data breaches.
The news comes weeks after a damning report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire Rescue Service that discovered some police forces were actively looking for reasons to avoid investigating cases of fraud due to funding issues and the priority placed on violent crimes.
All forces will now have access to a £7 million fund to use in 2019 that will help build professionally equipped and trained cyber crime units. These units will utilise new technologies and hire cyber specialist officers to combat the increasing cyber risks posed to the UK’s digital infrastructure.
Chief Constable Goodman, National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Lead for Cybercrime, said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce this significant step forward in improving the overall response to cybercrime in England and Wales.
“In the last six years we have introduced a robust national and regional network of dedicated cybercrime units at national and regional level but we were still lacking a local response. as part of the Team Cyber UK network.
“Every police force now has a cybercrime unit, which will investigate and pursue offenders, help businesses and victims protect themselves from attack and work with partners to prevent vulnerable individuals from being drawn into committing cybercrime. These units will improve our response to cybercrime working closely with national and regional units. This is a great start and lays down a solid foundation for each force to build on.”
Ben Wallace, Security and Economic Crime Minister, said: “While cyber criminals hide behind their screens, their actions have a huge impact on businesses and individuals.
“Being the victim of a hack can be frightening, embarrassing and costly.
“The new specialist cybercrime teams are a vital tool when it comes to preventing this type of crime, pursuing the perpetrators and protecting victims.
“Crime is changing and so must we. These cyber units, supported by Home Office funding, are a clear symbol of that shift.”
Will these new units have a tangible impact on the current cyber risks in the UK?