The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has announced that every police force in England and Wales now has a dedicated cyber crime unit in place thanks to a multi-million-pound investment from the Government.
Its cyber crime lead, Chief Constable Peter Goodman, made the announcement at an event hosted by the West Midlands Cybercrime Unit, which has been in place since November last year.
The move was attributed to £7 million worth of funding this year from the Home Office and the National Cyber Security Programme to build the units. This has covered the recruitment of specialist officers and staff and investments in technology, equipment and training. The investment is scheduled to continue through to 2020-21.
Goodman said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce this significant step forward in improving the overall response to cyber crime in England and Wales.
“In the last six years we have introduced a robust national and regional network of dedicated cyber crime units at national and regional level but we were still lacking a local response.
“Every police force now has a cyber crime unit, which will investigate and pursue offenders, help businesses and victims protect themselves from attack and work with partners to prevent vulnerable individuals from being drawn into committing cybercrime.
“These units will improve our response to cyber crime working closely with national and regional units. This is a great start and lays down a solid foundation for each force to build on.”
The NPCC said that prior to the roll out of the force units, only 31% of forces had a dedicated cyber capability.
The new teams are coordinated and supported by the regional organised crime units (ROCUs) and are able to call on the extra support and assistance of the National Cyber Crime Units (NCCU). They support the updated Home Office Serious and Organised Crime Strategy launched in November 2018.
Image from NPCC