Police need to be better equipped to fight cyber crime

News by Rene Millman

Police apparently don't have the means to properly address the looming threat of cybercrime according to the latest Crime Survey of England and Wales

Cybercrime in the UK is on the increase in the UK and police are not well equipped to deal with the problem, according to experts.

The latest crime survey for England and Wales (CSEW) by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), found that there were 3.6 million fraud and 2.0 million computer misuse offences experienced in the 12 months.

The ONS said that the latest statistics showed an annual rise of five per cent in frauds referred to the police. Industry data on financial fraud, the vast bulk of which is unreported to the police, showed there were 1.9 million cases of frauds on UK-issued cards, an increase of 46 per cent from the previous year.

The stats agency said that the estimate of computer crime and fraud was similar in magnitude to the current headline estimate covering all other CSEW offences and provides an indication of the scale of the threat from such offences. 

“However, it would be misleading to conclude that this means actual crime levels have doubled, since the survey previously did not cover these fraud and computer misuse offences. It was precisely because these offences were thought to be such high volume that the decision was made to extend the CSEW to cover them,” said the report.

The ONS said that it would not be until January 2018 that the ONS would be able to release valid year-on-year comparisons of CSEW estimates including the new fraud and computer misuse figures.

Andy Lea, Head of Policing at KPMG, told SCMagazineUK.com that the new fraud and computer misuse estimation of 5.6 million offences highlights the challenge forces face to be better equipped to fight cyber enabled crime and the need for all of us to better protect ourselves. 

“These figures also show the difficult decisions forces will need to make when prioritising their use of resources,” he said.

“The overall CSEW figures show 6.4 million incidents of crime, however, the underlying reduction in the incidence of crime continues the positive trend of recent years and highlights England and Wales as a relatively safe places to live. The increases in police recorded crime should be viewed positively and reflects forces' better approach to recording and the efforts being made to build victim trust to report crime.”

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews