Police forces lack e-crime expertise and resources

CIO Jury: IT chiefs call for dedicated national police unit

Local police forces do not have the resources or expertise to deal with growing cyber crime and online fraud threats facing businesses today.

That's the unanimous verdict of UK tech chiefs on silicon.com's CIO Jury IT user panel.

All 12 CIOs and IT directors on this week's CIO Jury are backing silicon.com's e-Crime Crackdown campaign for a dedicated national police e-crime unit, following the government's decision to hand over the now defunct National High-Tech Crime Unit's (NHTCU) responsibilities to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

silicon.com's e-Crime Crackdown campaign is calling for a national UK cyber crime police unit.

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

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Peter Pedersen, CTO at European gaming group Rank, said: "The NHTCU is greatly missed. With the growing importance of ecommerce for the British economy, it is crucial that there is help at hand from a special unit to enforce, protect and help prevent e-crime."

Since the disbanding of the NHTCU businesses and individuals have been left to report e-crime attacks to their local police force.

Peter Russell, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Local units do not have sufficient resources or skills to deal with some of the threats we are now facing."

One of the threats that needs a co-ordinated police response is online fraud, according to Tony Johnson, IT director at the Zavvi Entertainment Group.

Christopher Linfoot, IT director at the LDV Group, added: "E-crime is complex and difficult to police and can more effectively be dealt with if the scarce and expensive resources needed to combat it are pooled."

silicon.com's e-Crime Crackdown campaign has already received backing from the police, politicians, businesses and security experts.

Ian Auger, IT director at ITN, said: "I think it is a specialist area that needs to be dealt with by people who understand it. The unit should be there to offer advice and not just to mop up when things have gone wrong."

Today's CIO Jury was…

Ian Auger, IT director, ITN
Neil Bath, IT director, Brewin Dolphin Securities
Mike Buck, architecture manager, Yorkshire Water
Mark Foulsham, head of IT, eSure
Steve Fountain, IT director, Markel International
Tony Johnson, IT director, Zavvi Entertainment Group
John Keeling, director of computer services, John Lewis
Christopher Linfoot, IT director, LDV Group
Peter Pedersen, CTO, Rank Group
Peter Russell, head of IT, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
Alan Shrimpton, IT director, Avon & Somerset Police
Steve Williams, head of ICT, Sunderland City Council

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