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UK government report shows local police are not ready to fight cyber-crime

Posted April 11, 2014
Computer keyboard
Britain’s Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has issued a report critiquing the state of local police readiness regarding cyber-crime in England and Wales. Workers with HMIC have gathered statistics in the wake of the British government’s call to action last year to respond to five major threats: terrorism, civil emergencies, organized crime, public order threats and large-scale cyber-attacks. While the bulk of traditional threats appear to be adequately addressed, developing a response to a large-scale cyber attack does not. Indeed, representatives of the HMIC have concluded that many top law enforcement officials were not even clear on what constitutes a large-scale cyber-attack.

In the report, HMIC claims that out of 43 police forces, just 3 have developed a comprehensive plan to handle a major cyber attack and only 2 percent of police staff had been trained on how to investigate cyber crime.

One of the difficulties in fighting cyber crime, is of course, the lack of geography. In real life, crimes happen in certain areas that fall under a certain jurisdictions. With cyber crime, the perpetuators could be next door (stealing WiFi), across town, or even in another country. When a victim arrives at a police station to report that they’ve had data stolen off their computer, in most cases, police won’t know how to respond.

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