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New anti-cybercrime force to be launched in Britain
by Konstantin Kornakov | Oct 12 2006 10:30 GMT

The Metropolitan Police will launch a new unit that will fight e-crime in Britain, it has been announced. This follows several high-profile cybercrime incidents in Britain, including the recovery of private data of several thousand UK nationals from a US-based computer, which prompted a scramble by the Met to notify those affected. The new cybercrime coordination unit will provide a platform for cooperation between law enforcement, government and industry forces. It will initially begin life as a Met venture, but may become a national force if proven successful.

Britain's previous anti-cybercrime force was the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, but this group was amalgamated with other specialised police units to form SOCA, the Serious Organised Crime Agency. It was launched this spring by the then Home Secretary Charles Clarke to become an agency similar to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, this move meant that the NHTCU became involved in dealing with top-level organised crime, while levels of cybercrime committed against the person, such as cyberfraud and ID theft continues growing.

The new e-crime unit will fill the void left by the departure of the NHTCU for pastures new and provide a response in an area of growing concern for the public. A recent government report on crime in society highlighted the fact that cybercrime has become one of the most feared types of crime in Britain, second only to credit card fraud. However, experts have already voiced their concerns about levels of funding available to the new group, with some suggesting that cybercrime has already slipped down the government's agenda behind anti-terrorism, organised crime and community safety issues.




Metropolitan Police