UK announces creation of London cybercrime court

It might be a long time before any cases are heard, however.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

The UK government has announced the creation of a specialist court to hear cases relating to cybercrime.

The deal has been inked between the City of London Corporation and the judiciary and will result in the establishment of an 18-courtroom center, the UK government said on Wednesday.

First announced back in October and now given the go-ahead, the court will be built from the ground up at Fleetbank House on Fleet Street.

TechRepublic: How the United Nations helps fight global cybercrime

The new center will replace the civil court, Mayor's and City of London County Court, and the City of London Magistrates' Court, which has been described as "aging." A new police station has also been thrown into the deal.

The purpose-built court will deal with civil, business, and property cases.

See also: Cybersecurity and Brexit: What does it mean for the fight against hackers?

Lord Chancellor David Gauke said the deal represents a "message to the world that Britain both prizes business and stands ready to deal with the changing nature of 21st-century crime."

"This is a hugely significant step in this project that will give the Square Mile its second iconic courthouse after the Old Bailey," added Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation. "I'm particularly pleased that this court will have a focus on the legal issues of the future, such as fraud, economic crime, and cybercrime."

According to the Office for National Statistics' latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), 4.7 million incidents of criminal fraud and cybercrime were experienced by UK residents in the past year, with bank and credit card fraud forming the majority of cases.

Norton suggests that in 2017, £130 billion was stolen from the general public by cybercriminals, of which £4.6 billion in losses were experienced specifically by British consumers.

CNET: Cybercrime hurting businesses to tune of $600 billion

Now cybercrime is becoming ever more common, the launch of specialist courts with judges versed in not only the law but the applications of new technologies to crime is an important step in tackling, if not the source, at least the aftermath.

However, it will likely be some time before the building is ready, let alone for cases to be heard. Subject to planning permission and funding, the court is not expected to be complete until 2025.

A basic guide to diving in to the dark web

Previous and related coverage

Editorial standards