Police e-crime hubs announced


Three regional policing e-crime hubs are to be established in the UK, as the Government looks to boost the nation's protection against threats.

Yorkshire and the Humber, the Northwest and the East Midlands will each get a hub, where specialist cyber police will coordinate with the Metropolitan Police Centre e-crime Unit (PCeU) on catching cyber criminals and shutting down their operations.

The announcement was made during the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) e-crime conference in Sheffield yesterday.

"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," said ACPO lead on e-crime deputy assistant commissioner Janet Williams.

"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."

The hubs will only become active once police are trained up, Williams added.

Late last year, the Government announced a centralised hub that would allow private and public organisations to share data on threats.

Positive reaction

The Government has faced criticism for its funding the fight against cyber crime, with industry players saying not enough money was being pumped into police. The Government allocated 650 million for cyber security over the Coalition's five-year tenure.

According to one industry player however, the UK has been noticeably proactive in helping police fight cyber crime.

"Yorkshire Police have actually been one of the most cyber ready forces for a number of years," Raj Samani, UK CTO of McAfee, told IT Pro.

Last year, the Cabinet Office's National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) pledged 30 million to "improve national capability to investigate and combat cyber crime." Whilst this might not seem much, Samani suggested taken in context, it was a sizeable amount.

"This is 30 million above what they've already invested," Samani added. "I was in a meeting with the Cabinet Office and I was taught a lesson. I questioned the 650 million and was told that was above and beyond all the existing investments.

"That's what we need to remember... actually I'd say it's a really welcoming figure because it demonstrates that this has a higher priority. They've identified a priority and they think it requires additional investment."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.