Computer Crime Research Center


Centralised police unit to lead e-crime fight

Date: March 10, 2008
By: Phil Muncaster

A new centralised police unit tasked with tackling IT crime is set to get the official go-ahead, according to a leading computer crime officer.

Speaking at the SecureLondon conference, hosted by security certification firm ISC2 last week, detective sergeant Clive Blake of the Metropolitan Police Service expressed confidence that the planned Police Central E-crime Unit (PCEU) will get sufficient Home Office funding to “run effectively for the next three years”.

The new unit will co-ordinate the computer crime efforts of all 43 police forces in England and Wales, including responsibility for training crime prevention officers in IT security, he added. It will also provide a single point of contact for businesses and the public.

The formation of PCEU is essential for businesses, said John Colley, European managing director of ISC2. “It will provide the necessary co-ordination that is an essential first step in the e-crime battle,” he added.

Industry group the Corporate IT Forum (TIF) said its members have been frustrated since the old National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) was wound up, because e-crime now has to be reported to local police authorities.

“You can’t expect a local police force to deal with what could be a complex case of international e-crime,” said a TIF spokesman. “If [the PCEU] means a single line of reporting, by which I mean a real response from a real person at the end of the telephone, then we’d welcome it.”

The new PCEU web site is slated to launch during the Infosecurity Europe show in April, and will feature FAQs, fraud alerts and news on the latest scams, explained Blake. “We want it to bring value to your business from a security perspective,” he added. “The ambition is for it to be the first port of call for IT security-related problems.”

At another security event last week, shadow home secretary David Davis unveiled plans for a new approach to tackling IT crime, an issue he described as a “serious threat to individuals, business and government”.

Included in the proposals, which were launched at the E-Crime Congress, are the appointment of a minister for IT crime and a new national enforcement agency. Davis added that it was “absurd that the government removed the NHTCU without anything to plug the gap”.

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo