Suffolk and Norfolk police to create new cyber crime unit

New cyber crime unit due to be up and running by June

New cyber crime unit due to be up and running by June - Credit: PA

Suffolk and Norfolk police are to create a new cyber crime unit to combat the rising tide of hi-tech offences.

Increasing numbers of individuals and businesses are becoming victims of the phenomenon sparked by the fast-changing landscape in the world of technology and wireless communications. The new squad is due to be up and running in June and will be led by a detective superintendent.

It will be based in Halesworth, where the current hi-tech crime unit is located.

Its evolution into a cyber crime unit will see capacity increase through the introduction of new hardware and software to deal with illicit images of children which are shared through online activity. It is said this will enable officers to effectively pursue those who commit such offences.

A cyber security adviser is also to be recruited to tailor advice for businesses and communities, as well as co-ordinating the constabularies’ response in tackling cyber crime

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore described the growing technological menace as the “scourge in our society”.

He added: “The pattern of crime is changing in Suffolk and elsewhere. One of the biggest changes is in cyber and internet crime. It has the potential to be a significant problem for communities and businesses.

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“I am quite happy to find extra resources for developing a cyber crime unit because it does involve some pretty awful crimes including child pornography, human trafficking, drugs and contraband.

“This is a question about making a choice so Suffolk is ahead of the game.”

In 2013, the UK online spent an estimated £91billion online, with 74% of the adult population buying goods and services online.

Cyber crime is a transnational threat to the UK and comes from within the country and organised international criminal gangs.

Research by the Federation of Small Businesses shows that two out of every five of its members nationally have been targeted by fraudsters.

However, competent criminals can introduce new crimeware products to the marketplace rapidly. Intelligence suggests that these criminals work on new products at the same time as deploying existing ones, increasing resilience to disruption efforts.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the phenomenon, the true scale and cost of cyber crime is unknown.