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UK police open new cybercrime departments


What’s the story?

The UK police have opened three new hubs specifically designed to combat cybercrime. The three centres will be based in in Yorkshire and the Humber, the Northwest and East Midlands.

The departments, opened on Wednesday February 8, will each be manned by a detective sergeant and two detective constables. The centres will conduct their own investigations as well as aid the Metropolitan Police Centre e-Crime Unit (PCeU) with cybercrime cases.

Does this mean that the UK government is worried about cybercrime?

Well it certainly seems that way. In the government’s National Security Risk Assessment back in October 2010, cybercrime was identified as a ‘tier one’ threat. This puts it in the same category as international terrorism, international military crises, and major natural disasters.

At the time, Prime Minister David Cameron promised that some ?650 million had been set aside specifically for development of the UK’s cybercrime defences.

How effective have the efforts been?

Since its inception in 2008, the PCeU has conducted seven operations which, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), have resulted in savings of ?83m in prevented cybercrime cases.

On the new regional cybercrime centres, ACPO’s 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 ?504 million.”

What do you think about the threat of cybercrime?

We’d love to hear your opinions on the threat of cybercrime to the individual and to nations as a whole. What can be done to police the internet, if it should be policed at all.

Let us know here on the blogs, on Twitter or on our Facebook page.

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