NCCU: UK FBI-Style National Cyber Police Launched

The UK’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) has been officially launched as part of the National Crime Agency, which will aim to fight serious and organised crime.

The NCCU consists of the merged teams of the Met’s Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) and the cyber side of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

NCCU launch

The NCA will comprise four commands: Organised Crime, Economic Crime, Border Policing and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection). The cyber crime unit is deemed as something of a separate entity, seeking to track cyber criminals at national and international levels.

“Using the NCA’s single intelligence picture, the NCCU works with partners to identify and understand the growing use of cyber as an enabler across all crime types,” a note on the NCA website read.

“It can then determine the most effective ways of tackling the threat. It encourages the mainstreaming of cyber investigative capability and dedicated operational support on cyber and cyber-enabled crime.

“The NCCU provides a joined-up national response to cyber and cyber-enabled crime, ensuring that expertise is focused where it can deliver the most impact and add most value.”

There appears to be something of an offensive side to the NCCU, as it will “target criminal vulnerabilities”.

Andy Archibald, who was leading the cyber team at SOCA, is heading up the NCCU.

Not all are happy about the PCeU joining SOCA. In an in-depth report into the formation of the NCCU, security expert Professor Ross Anderson, of the University of Cambridge said the high-quality PCeU capability was being “kiboshed”. “It’ll become useless… this could have dire effects.”

In late September, the PCeU said it had saved the UK £1.01 billion in two and a half years, double its target in half the time expected.

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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