Government Freezes Met’s Cyber Crime Budget

It has been reported that the cyber crime unit of the Metropolitan Police Service will not be getting an extra £1 million funding boost from the Home Office in 2011.

The Police Central e-crime Unit (PceU) is a dedicated unit set up in early 2009 with a remit to provide an enforcement response to technologically-enabled serious crime, and support other police forces on receiving intelligence data from the National Fraud Reporting Centre (NFRC).

No Extra Cash

With online fraud and other electronic crimes becoming increasingly commonplace, the PceU had been hoping for extra funding from the Home Office for training and equipment purposes. However it seems that the extra funding got axed as part of the coalition Government’s £6 billion deficit reduction plans.

The PceU will instead see its budget frozen at £1.3 million per year, the same amount it was given in 2009/10.

The Met, speaking to IT Pro, said that an extra £800,000 is being committed from its budget to “targeting the e-crime threat”, although it did not specify where this money would be going directly.

“Without this additional funding the growth of our capability will be restricted, however we remain committed to our existing work in this area at current funding levels,” the MPS told IT Pro.

Tip Of Iceberg

The police recently warned that the famous Nigerian scam emails are only the “tip of iceberg”. The Serious and Organised Crime unit (SOCA) was looking to publicise the growing threat from online fraud and other forms of extortion and criminal activity.

It is thought that email scams cost the public an estimated £3.5 billion a year in the UK alone, and according to SOCA, technology is playing a major role in the emergence of new types of fraud.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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