E-crime unit could soon be a reality

The UK’s proposed central e-crime unit is close to securing the necessary government funding to make it a reality.

May 8, 2008
By Paul Jacques

The UK’s proposed central e-crime unit is close to securing the necessary government funding to make it a reality.

Speaking at the Infosec security show in London, Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Charlie McMurdie said: “I’m fairly convinced we’ll get the required sum of £5.3 million some way or the other. We’re looking at days rather than months.”

Det Supt McMurdie who now works in covert policing and is heading up Scotland Yard’s case for the 50-strong, national e-crime reporting and response unit, said she was still waiting for an answer from Home Office minister Vernon Coaker.

The unit would provide leadership and expertise to coordinate investigations nationwide and collate reports from police forces across the country, as well as offering a central point for reporting e-crime.

She explained why cyber crime needs to be better addressed on a national level. “Traditional crime has moved online and law enforcement needs to get there quick.”

Her case is supported by a new report, which claims that Internet related debit and credit card fraud has hit £500 million in the UK.

Det Supt McMurdie also made it clear the organisation will face a big task if it gets the green light. “If only the policing of the Internet was as easy as policing robberies.”

Currently, the 43 UK police forces deal with e-crime separately but Det Supt McMurdie said half of e-crime goes unreported while half of incidents reported often aren’t taken seriously.

She also said that even when cyber criminals are caught they rarely receive substantial sentences. “We need some kind of prosecution as a deterrent. We need to get our act together.”

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