UK National Cyber Crime Unit becomes operational

The UK's National Cyber Crime Unit has become operational as part of the new National Crime Agency

The new National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) has become operational as part of the UK’s new National Crime Agency (NCA) aimed at fighting serious and organised crime.

The NCCU sits alongside four commands making up the NCA: Organised Crime, Economic Crime, Border Policing and Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP).

The NCA is aimed at transforming the UK’s response to serious and organised crime through a single law enforcement agency to harness and co-ordinate resources across the UK.

Keith Bristow, director general of the NCA, said the agency will have the capability to tackle serious and organised crime in areas that have previously had a fragmented response, including cyber crime.

“The NCA will be at the centre of a reformed policing landscape that will co-ordinate the fight against some of the UK’s most sophisticated and harmful criminals,” he said.

According to the NCA, the NCCU is aimed at providing a joined-up national response to cyber and cyber-enabled crime.

The NCCU brings together specialists from the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) in the Metropolitan Police Service and the cyber division of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

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Former Soca cyber lead Andy Archibald heads up the NCCU, while former PCeU head Charlie McMurdie has joined consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as its senior crime adviser.

Using the NCA's single intelligence picture, the NCCU is to work with partners to identify and understand the growing use of cyber as an enabler across all crime types to determine the most effective ways of tackling the threat.

The unit is designed to provide a “powerful” and “highly visible” investigative response to the most serious incidents of cyber crime, according to the NCA website.

But the unit’s work will go beyond investigations to include proactively targeting criminal vulnerabilities and preventing criminal opportunities.

The unit will also assist the NCA and wider law enforcement to prevent cyber-enabled crime and pursue those who use the internet or technology for criminal purposes.

The NCCU has been tasked with driving a step-change in the UK’s overall capability to tackle cyber crime and support partners in industry and law enforcement to protect themselves against the threat from cyber crime.

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