Computer Crime Research Center


InterCOP (International Cyber Offender Prevention Network)

Date: December 05, 2023
Source: Computer Crime Research Center

The InterCOP network is made up of international law enforcement agencies that share expertise and jointly develop, implement and evaluate Cyber Offender Prevention (COP) interventions and prevention campaigns. The network engages with public and private sector stakeholders whose skills, resources and reach are needed, alongside law enforcement efforts, to create a safer digital environment. One of the network’s main goals is to guide young cyber-skilled individuals in the right direction.

The InterCOP network was established in 2023 and is funded by a three year Internal Security Fund (ISF) provided by the European Commission. It is linked to the EMPACT Operational Action Plan 2023 for the priority ‘Cyber Attacks’, Strategic Goal 7, Operational Action 7.1.

The Netherlands is leading the InterCOP project, to which the UK, Finland, Sweden, and Portugal co-signed. The InterCOP network consists of 26 countries in total.

Why Cyber Offender Prevention?

Cybercrime is one of the most disruptive forms of crime today and is likely to become even more disruptive in the future. Compared to other forms of serious crime, cybercriminals are often very young. Not only do they cause severe damage to society (companies and persons), but they also destroy their own futures. Most youngsters do not realise they could go to prison for several years for what they perceive as a challenge or a game.

Cybercriminals as opposed to other criminals, usually only encounter corrective measures well into their criminal careers. These criminals are often first-time offenders. These offenders, who possess a desired skill set, can be diverted to use their skills in legal ways that benefit society.

Cyber Offender Prevention (COP) is increasingly recognised as an effective and necessary response to cyber criminality alongside investigative efforts. For Cyber Offender Prevention to maximise its impact, international (law enforcement) cooperation is needed. The InterCOP network aims to provide a platform for such international cooperation.

InterCOP objectives:

Create a network of national and international Law Enforcement Agencies that cooperate on cyber offender prevention (InterCOP Network);
Provide an evidence-based toolkit of current COP-interventions that are continuously shared, implemented, evaluated and updated;
Ensure the toolkit remains updated with new, innovative initiatives and interventions conceptualised by InterCOP members;
Form an alliance of public and private partners that embrace their digital responsibility by proactively contributing to cybercrime prevention activities.
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