UK Police Launch Regional Cybercrime Hubs


The Association of Chief Police Officers unveil three cybercrime units in Yorkshire and the Humber, the north-west and east Midlands

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has announced the introduction of three regional e-crime policing centres in an effort to tackle cyber crime, a threat that the National Security Risk Assessment identifies as serious as terrorism and natural disasters.

The hubs will be based in Yorkshire and the Humber, the north-west and east Midlands, and will cost £30 million over four years according to the ACPO. Estimates from the Cabinet Office put the cost of cybercrime at £27 billion per year with the government committing £650 million to fight it.

Policing the web

“The Government has acknowledged a need to collaborate and provide a structured response to the cyber security of the UK and these three additional policing units are going to play a critical role in our ability to combat the threat,” said ACPO head of e-crime and deputy assistant commissioner Janet Williams.

She added in her press statement: “It is anticipated the hubs will make a significant contribution to the national harm reduction target of £504m. In the first six months of the new funding period alone we have already been able to show a reduction of £140m with our existing capability.”

The hubs will work with the Metropolitan Police Centre e-crime Unit (PCeU), which was established as part of the National e-Crime Programme in 2008, and will each unit will comprise a detective sergeant and two detective constables. Williams notes that a training period will be required before any of the hubs are fully functional.

“It seems to me to be a positive move towards enhancing the national response to cybercrime,” said David Emm, a Kaspersky researcher, speaking to the BBC. “Until now, most of the police’s expertise in computer-based crime has been concentrated in the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Met. Clearly, the government is keen to widen the field of expertise, and this is part of that initiative.”

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