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.”
Regional e-crime co-ordinator, East Midlands Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman said:
“There is no doubt that the proliferation of the internet has brought significant benefits to all across society, but unfortunately that also includes those who have criminal intent. We know that increasingly criminal networks are seeking to exploit cyber space for profit and we have a duty as police leaders to respond to protect individuals and communities.”
The ACPO Press Office can be contacted via 020 7084 8946/47/48 (office hours) or via 07803 903686 (out of office hours).
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is an independent, professionally led strategic body. In the public interest and, in equal and active partnership with Government and partner agencies, ACPO leads and co-ordinates the direction and development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In times of national need ACPO, on behalf of all chief officers, co-ordinates the strategic policing response.
ACPO’s 311 members consist of 223 chief police officers from the home forces of assistant chief constable rank (commanders in the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police) and above, plus 60 senior police staff members from the 44 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Non home forces such as British Transport Police have 25 chief police officer members and there are three members from the Service Police.