The UK police capability to tackle the growing threat of cyber crime was strengthened today with the announcement of three regional policing e-crime hubs.
The new hubs, in Yorkshire and the Humber, the Northwest and in East Midlands, will be launched at the ACPO e-crime conference in Sheffield today. Cyber crime has been identified in the National Security Risk Assessment as a ‘tier one’ threat alongside international terrorism, an international military crisis, and a major accident or natural hazard requiring a national response.
To meet the threat, the government has granted £30m over four years to improve national capability to investigate and combat cyber crime.
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.
ACPO lead on e-crime Deputy Assistant Commissioner Janet Williams said:
The Government has acknowledged a need to collaborate and provide a structured response to the cyber security of the UK and these three additional policing units are going to play a critical role in our ability to combat the threat.
It is anticipated the hubs will make a significant contribution to the national harm reduction target of £504m. In the first six months of the new funding period alone we have already been able to show a reduction of £140m with our existing capability.
While a training period is required before the hubs are fully functional they will undoubtedly provide an enhanced ability to investigate this fast growing area of crime and provide an improved internet investigation capability.
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.
The government has committed £650million in the fight against e-crime.
DCC Mark Whyman, Head of Regional Collaboration, Policing Yorkshire and the Humber said:
I am delighted that Yorkshire and the Humber has been selected as one of the three national e-crime hubs. This validates even further the collaboration that already exists between the four forces and Police Authorities of the region. I am pleased that we can play a leading role in developing a national capability in this way and, by using our local expertise to tackle what is a rapidly growing crime problem for our communities and the economy, we can yet again place our region at the forefront of policing developments.