High-tech crime unit for Scotland moves into gear

Scotland's new high-tech crime unit will be fully up and running in the next two months, helping police forces north of the...

Scotland's new high-tech crime unit will be fully up and running in the next two months, helping police forces north of the border to crack down on internet crime.

Initially established by the Scottish executive last year, the unit is designed to tackle a range of crimes including internet fraud, hacking and paedophilia.

The unit, which is headed by detective chief inspector Ian Jackson and based at Lothian and Borders' police headquarters, is recruiting specialist staff including forensic computer analysts and an intelligence officer. Officials say the unit will be at full strength by April.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders police said, "The work carried out by the members of the National High-Tech Crime Unit for Scotland will be quite varied - ranging from investigating internet fraud to tackling internet child abuse.

"They will also have a large role to play in the ongoing operation Ore enquiry into paedophilia."

The Scottish executive has provided £385,000 worth of funding to assist the National High-Tech Crime Unit for Scotland with start-up and recruitment costs during the current financial year. In 2003-4 this figure will increase to £575,000, in addition to £125,000 from the Scottish Police Service.

The unit is expected to work closely with the London-based National High-Tech Crime Unit.

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