Cash injection readies police for cyber crime

Written by Peter Walker

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has announced that every police force in England and Wales now has a dedicated cyber crime unit, following a multi-million-pound investment from the government.

Forces were able to access £7 million worth of funding this year to build the cyber crime units - including recruiting specialist officers and staff to the units and investing in technology, equipment and training. Investment in the units by the Home Office and the National Cyber Security Programme will continue through 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Prior to the roll out of the force units, only 31 per cent of forces had a dedicated cyber capability.

Lead for cyber crime, chief constable Peter Goodman, said: “In the last six years we have introduced a robust national and regional network of dedicated cyber crime units at national and regional level, but we were still lacking a local response.”

Security and economic crime minister Ben Wallace said: “The new specialist cyber crime 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.”

The new teams will be coordinated and supported by the Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) to ensure investigations are undertaken at the right level, prevent duplication of effort and are effectively managed across the country.

They are able to call on the extra support and assistance of the National Cybercrime Units (NCCU). The new teams complete a Team Cyber UK network working at a local, regional, national and international level to provide a robust response to all levels of cyber criminality.

The new units support the updated Home Office Serious and Organised Crime Strategy launched in November 2018, which helps build businesses’ and individuals’ resilience against cyber crime and ensures law enforcement agencies have the capabilities they need to tackle it.

The units are also supported by the five-year National Cyber Security Strategy, launched in 2016 and complemented by £1.9 billion of investment.