Ruslan Grumble - Fotolia

Government drafts in civilians to fight cyber crime

The government plans to bolster police capacity to fight cyber crime by approving measures to give powers to volunteers with specialist knowledge

Civilian volunteers with specialist knowledge are to be drafted in to help police fight cyber crime under the latest government reforms to be announced by home secretary Theresa May.

Police forces have come under fire for lacking the necessary skills to deal with cyber crime at a local level, and have sought to ramp up capability to respond to cyber crime reports and collect evidence. 

Police officials have admitted forces face a steep learning curve in getting to grips with cyber crime. There are several initiatives underway geared to growing capability and capacity, it will take years to build the necessary capacity.

In October 2015, the Office of National Statistics revealed there were 625,000 cyber crime offences a month on average in England and Wales between May and August 2015, which security experts believe is just a fraction of the actual number.

The government plans to expand the role of volunteers by approving measures aimed at giving more powers to volunteers with cyber, financial and other specialist knowledge.

The home secretary said the measures were aimed at helping forces to bring in skills and free up officers to focus on jobs only they can carry out.

Police powers

Until now, civilian volunteers could exercise the full range of police powers only by becoming special constables.

The new measures, which form part of a reforms package, will enable volunteers to be given some police powers without becoming a special constable.

Read more about cyber crime

Volunteers will reportedly have the power to make arrests and conduct on-the-spot searches.

The measures will bolster the current ranks of around 16,000 special constables and around 9,000 support staff volunteers in England and Wales.

There are about 60 volunteer roles, ranging from mountain rescue to animal welfare, crime scene investigation to firearms licensing, according to a survey by union Unison.

Police forces in Hampshire and Gloucestershire have already launched a pilot scheme to attract volunteers with digital skills, reports the BBC.

In October 2015, a report by technology association TechUK called for police and industry to work together to tackle cyber crime at a regional and local level. 

The association’s Partners against crime report called for collaboration between police and industry to raise standards of reporting, recording and responding to cyber crime.

 

CW+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of CW+ membership, learn more and join.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Ten years after this was recommended (final report, recommendations 7 and 8) in the EURIM IPPR Partnership Policing studies http://www.eurim.org.uk/activities/e-crime/partpolicing.php
and included in a draft cross-departmental strategy that sank between the waves of inter-departmental rivalry.
Cancel
Given how the whole Healthcare.gov fiasco was handled, I hope they allow the civilians the necessary latitude to actually do what they were hired to do.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close