North Yorkshire is set to become the national centre of excellence for trading standards cyber crime enforcement after the county council’s Executive today agreed to accept over £600,000 in annual funding from Government
The initiative is part of a national strategy by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to tackle the rising tide of cyber crime which the Cabinet office estimates costs citizens and business over £3 billion a year.
Increasingly trading standards teams have been tackling direct scams or frauds perpetuated through the use of the internet as more falsely described products and services are sold on line.
The Government is therefore of the view that while on-line theft and data theft remain a direct police matter, trading standards officers have the expertise and are best placed to tackle business targeted and on-line consumer scams.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has established a cyber crime enforcement project which will be split between North Yorkshire County Council along with City of York and the East of England Trading Standards Association as preferred bidders.
As North Yorkshire County Council trading standards already hosts an internet and digital evidence recovery laboratory and the City of York employs a cyber crime investigation team on behalf of the Yorkshire and Humber Trading Standards Group, the authority is ideally placed to carry out the Government’s work
The county council is to become the accountable body for those areas of the project nationally which cover forensic laboratory work, investigative work and coordination. This means that residents and businesses in North Yorkshire will receive an enhanced service in relation to e-crime as the county council carries out this work on a national basis.
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Trading Standards said:
Cyber crime is being committed in newer and more subtle ways and North Yorkshire has already become a specialist centre for tackling this growing problem. This funding gives the county a real opportunity to become a national centre of excellence.