UK Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe suggests that consumers who have been victimised by online fraud should not be refunded by banks due to their “sloppy” internet security.

Hogan-Howe believes that if banks get rid of that financial safety net, victims would be taught to take cyber-security more seriously. “If you are continually rewarded for bad behaviour, you will probably continue to do it but, if the obverse is true, you might consider changing behaviour," he told The Times.

The commissioner thinks penalties should be created for poor security and suggests that banks should only refund a portion of the funds lost in online fraud, if the victim is using outdated software.

“The system is not incentivising you to protect yourself. If someone said to you, ‘If you've not updated your software, I will give you half back,' you would do it,” Hogan-Howe stated.

The UK police force insisted that Hogan-Howe's comments focused on consumers that did not take basic precautions such as password precaution and security measures, not all online fraud victims.

UK police will include cyber-crime estimates in official crime figures in July, for the first time.