Tories attack gov't over cybercrime delay

Shadow home secretary David Davis has criticised the government's failure to provide £1.3m to fund a national e-crime policing unit
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

The Tories have launched a stinging attack on the government's failure to pay £1.3m to fund a national e-crime policing unit.

Shadow home secretary David Davis said a crime is committed online in the UK "every 10 seconds", costing UK businesses £10bn a year.

The unit would provide leadership and expertise to co-ordinate investigations nationwide and collate reports from police forces across the country, as well as offering a central point of contact for reporting e-crime.

Speaking at a conference on law enforcement, organised by Microsoft, Davis contrasted this to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) devoting less than two percent of its staff and one percent of its budget to fighting e-crime.

Davis criticised the Home Office's delay in providing the £1.3m start-up costs for the Policing Central E-crime Unit (PCEU), proposed by the Metropolitan Police Service and Association of Chief Police Officers.

He said: "The threat is rising… with eight out of 10 major businesses targeted by cybercriminals last year. And yet... the government can't even cobble together the £1m necessary to start up a national police e-crime unit to start dealing with this escalating problem."

Davis reiterated the Conservative Party's commitment to starting its own dedicated cybercrime policing and reporting unit if elected to government.

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