UK government announces Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership

Government announces another initiative of the national cyber security strategy, to co-ordinate the efforts of police, experts and academics

The UK government has announced another initiative as part of the national cyber security strategy.

The Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership (CCRP) is aimed at tackling the growing threat of organised and global cyber criminals through the co-ordinated efforts of police, industry experts and academics.

The initiative was announced at a government cyber security briefing in London hosted by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

The government is committed to tackling the threat of organised and global cyber criminals, said security minister James Brokenshire.

Brokenshire will lead the CCRP with science minister David Willetts.

“This will provide a new forum in which government, law enforcement, industry and academia can regularly come together to tackle cyber crime more effectively,” said Brokenshire.

Law enforcement agencies have had a number of significant successes to date, he said, citing the fact that in its first year, the Police Central e-Crime unit prevented an estimated £538m of losses.

“But we want to go further and – through the creation of the National Cyber Crime Unit within the National Crime Agency (NCA) and innovations such as the new Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership – I am confident we can bring these criminals to justice,” said Brokenshire.

Businesses and members of the public also have a role to play, he said, by taking simple steps such as setting strong passwords and using up-to-date virus software to reduce the risk of becoming a victim, and by reporting cyber crimes to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for financially motivate internet crime.

The UK economy is increasingly going digital, with nearly two thirds of the population managing their finances online and annual online retail sales topping £2.6bn in 2012, said Brokenshire.

But while the digital revolution continues to offer huge opportunities for growth in our economy, our culture and well-being, he said confronting the growing digital dangers that puts that all at risk is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK.

“We are facing a growing and ever more complex threat. But our response to it has grown too and our ambition is to go further,” said Brokenshire.

The internet should be a source of tremendous economic and cultural growth for the UK and cyber security should be an important part of that growth, he said.

“Businesses that take cyber security seriously can gain a commercial advantage from doing so; the UK can export its expertise through the growth of a vibrant UK security industry,” said Brokenshire.

The UK can deliver a lasting and transformative impact on criminals seeking to harm national interests, he said, through the introduction of the National Cyber Crime Unit later this year, through greater awareness and action from the public and industry, and through continuing to work closely with international partners.

Brokenshire said other goals of the national cyber security strategy include:

  • Improving the sharing of information in and between industry sectors;
  • Helping the public and small businesses protect themselves online;
  • Establishing a UK National Computer Emergency Response Team;
  • Investing in skills, research and education to improve cyber capabilities in the UK.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention