Talks to discuss funding a national e-crime unit will open next week, but the Metropolitan Police Force is set to lose its second head of its e-crime unit in six months.
The move is believed to relate to the government's omission from the comprehensive spending review published two weeks ago of a mention of e-crime-fighting initiatives.
Commander Sue Wilkinson, then the Association of Chief Police Officers' (Acpo) lead on e-crime, asked the Home Office for £4.5m to establish the e-crime unit. This was mainly to replace the National High Tech Crime Unit, which was absorbed into the Serious Organised Crime Agency in April 2006.
The new unit would have some 45 staff, of which several would have come from internet service providers (ISPs), banks and government. It would incorporate the Met computer crime unit which has a budget of £1.3m.
McMurdie, who received her superintendent's qualifications in September 2007, is believed to have held on until the government's Comprehensive Spending Review before accepting promotion within the Met to a covert operational role.
McMurdie said, "I am at present the DCI for the Met computer crime unit and a superintendent's post does not exist within this arena. A new DCI will be recruited to take over my post, and if and when funding is available for the new unit then a superintendent will also be recruited to run it."
She said a new ACPO lead for e-crime will also be appointed from the Met in the next few weeks. "The Met has undertaken to lead e-crime delivery and several areas of work are ongoing at present despite the lack of a central unit or national remit," she said.