Police e-crime unit set for gov't go-ahead

The Met's detective superintendent has said she is confident the police unit will secure the required funding 'in days rather than months'

The UK's proposed central e-crime police unit is close to securing the necessary government funding to make it a reality, according to one of the architects of the project.

Speaking at the Infosecurity Europe show in London, the Metropolitan Police Service's detective superintendent Charlie McMurdie said: "I'm fairly convinced we'll get the required sum of £5.3m some way or the other. We're looking at days rather than months."

She explained why cybercrime needs to be better addressed on a national level. "Traditional crime has moved online and law enforcement needs to get there quick," she said.

McMurdie also made it clear the organisation will face a big task if it gets the green light. "If only the policing of the internet was as easy as policing robberies," she said.

Currently, the 43 UK police forces deal with e-crime separately but McMurdie said half of e-crime goes unreported while half of incidents reported often aren't taken seriously.

McMurdie also said that even when cybercriminals are caught they rarely receive substantial sentences. "We need some kind of prosecution as a deterrent. We need to get our act together."

Paul Simmonds, former chief information security officer for ICI, added: "The response we're getting [from law enforcement] is not proportionate."

He said there needs to be deeper co-ordination within industry to deal with e-crime, while the judiciary system needs to become better informed about the issues.

He said: "It seems like a no brainer to me. I hope the government sees sense."