Police need more cash to fight e-crime

The police need more funds and more trained IT specialists to tackle the rising tide of computer crime, according to senior...

The police need more funds and more trained IT specialists to tackle the rising tide of computer crime, according to senior security staff who attended the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit's E-Crime Congress last week.

Their comments followed research by the crime unit which found that e-crime cost UK business billions of pounds last year.

"People need to be sure that they will have the same chance of an effective investigation when they report offences [that occur] online as when they report offences offline," said Malcolm Hutty, government relations officer at the London Internet Exchange. He called for substantial resources for policing.

"There are a lot more resources going into the Hi-Tech Crime Unit but there is a lot more organised crime entering high-tech fraud than we were aware of," warned Martin Simmons, head of information audit at Transport for London.

"The problem is not what resources the police have but how they are used," said a security officer from a high street bank. "The government is great at throwing money at problems. We should not be throwing more money at tracking down paedophiles. Finding hackers and virus writers yes - but we need to make sure that punishments are appropriate: 200 hours community service is not much of a deterrent."

A detective with a Scottish computer crime unit, who asked not to be named, said businesses were still reluctant to report computer crimes. "Because they don't report crime, it makes it difficult to establish the scale of the crime, which makes it difficult to ask for funding," he said.

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