Cybercrime policing to get £63m boost

The government money will be used by experts from the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit to combat e-crime
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Police are to receive a £63m funding boost to help combat e-crime, the government has announced.

Met Police bike

The police are to receive a £63m funding boost to help fight e-crime, the government has said. Photo credit: Metropolitan Police

Cybercrime experts from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) will be allocated the monies as part of a £650m fund announced in October, the Home Office said on Wednesday.

"This proposed new funding will be used to develop the UK's overall response to cybercrime," said a Home Office spokesman. "The government is determined to build an effective law-enforcement response to the cybercrime threat building upon the existing expertise within Soca and the Met Police Central e-Crime Unit."

More details of the funding allocation will be made public later, he added. The official announcement follows remarks on cybercrime investment made by home secretary Theresa May at a meeting of G6 interior ministers earlier this month.

"The first working session was on cyberspace security," said May in a written ministerial statement on the G6 meeting. "Ministers considered the need to inform the public on how to keep safe in cyberspace.

"I noted that the government had allocated £650m to fund national cybersecurity, including £63m on cybercrime, and that the government would be publishing a cybersecurity strategy in the spring," May said in the statement, submitted to parliament on her behalf on Friday by security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones.

Ministerial meeting

The meeting of interior ministers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland was held on 3 and 4 February. US attorney general Eric Holder and US deputy secretary for homeland security Jane Holl Lute were also present. The subjects discussed included data retention and protection. May noted that the UK government's approach to internet security was self-regulation rather than formal regulation.

The UK will work with Poland on information security policy ahead of the Euro2012 football championships and the London 2012 Olympics, May told parliament.

The government announced it would spend £650m on cybersecurity in October, as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. A Whitehall official told ZDNet UK in November that the funding will be allocated across a number of efforts. These range from raising consumer awareness of cybersecurity threats through to funding initiatives for government security teams in organisations such as GCHQ.

The Home Office is in the process of amalgamating Soca and different police functions into a body called the National Crime Agency (NCA).

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