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Regional cyber-crime units created

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Met Police warns off wannabe hackers, teenage collars in danger of being felt
Met Police warns off wannabe hackers, teenage collars in danger of being felt

Specific police cyber crime teams have been created in Yorkshire and the Humber, the Northwest and East Midlands.

Working alongside the Metropolitan Police Centre e-crime Unit and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the new centres will consist of three members of staff: a detective sergeant and two detective constables.

With £30m of funding, Janet Williams, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and ACPO lead on e-crime, said she anticipated that the units will make a significant contribution to the 'national harm reduction target' of £504m.

She 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.

“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.”

The recent House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's report called for an improvement in police officers' knowledge of cyber crime as it claimed that "there is no single first point of advice and help for the consumer".

Launched last November, the Cyber Security Strategy aimed to create a cyber crime unit, within the National Crime Agency, that will build on the Metropolitan Police's eCrime Unit and give police forces across the country the necessary skills and experience.

Raj Samani, EMEA CTO of McAfee, said: “This additional police focus on cyber crime reflects the size of the problem. Despite improved security and international crackdown efforts, cyber crime has thrived since the Millennium, growing by double digits year after year.

“While it's great to see this commitment from the police, we also have to get better at protecting our personal information if we want to slow cyber criminals' success. Technology can only take us so far: the rest is education and vigilance on the part of computer users.”

James Brokenshire, minister for crime and security at the Home Office, said: “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 £650m to the fight against e-crime.”

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