Government pledges funding for e-crime unit


Government pledges funding for e-crime unit

Warwick Ashford

The government has announced funding for a police unit dedicated to tackling cybercrime and clamping down on internet fraud.

The Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU) will receive £3.5m government funding and £3.9m from the Metropolitan Police Service over three years.

It will provide specialist officer training and co-ordinate cross-force initiatives to crack down on online offences.

E-crime minister Vernon Coaker said, "The PCeU will play a vital role in helping police forces across the country improve skills and techniques needed to clamp down on e-crime."

The unit will focus on supporting the new National Fraud Reporting Centre (NFRC) when it comes into operation in 2009.

City of London Police Commissioner Mike Bowron said, "The City of London Police as lead force for fraud welcomes the government's decision to fund a police e-crime unit."

He said the unit will work closely with the City of London Police and other agencies as a key partner within the national fraud programme.

The Serious Organised Crime Association's deputy director for e-crime Sharon Lemon said the partnership with the NFRC will add real clarity to the reporting mechanisms for internet crime in the UK.

The PCeU will also work closely with other crime fighting agencies to tackle international and serious organised crime groups operating on the internet.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Janet Williams, the lead on e-crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said the new unit will make it easier for people to report e-crime.
"There is currently real difficulty around reporting e-crime and I think the current structure in place does not facilitate this," she said.

ACPO and law enforcement agencies can now work towards creating a national co-ordination centre to combat e-crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, she said.

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