Conservative shadow home affairs minister James Brokenshire has slammed the government for not dealing effectively with electronic crime.
Speaking at the e-Crime Congress in London, Brokenshire said that electronic crime is rising so quickly that the police need extra support and funds to deal with the problem.
Brokenshire also declared himself "unimpressed" with government efforts to tackle the problem in a co-ordinated fashion.
"There is little doubt that electronic crime is growing, but there is little doubt in my mind that the government has been slow to rise to the challenge," he said.
"Against a background of the growth in e-commerce, with 17 million people banking online, criminals have seen the opportunity."
Brokenshire claimed that funding for some police computer crime units will run out at the end of March, and that underreporting of criminal activity is rife.
Information Commissioner Richard Thomas also complained to e-Crime Congress delegates about a lack of funding for his department.
Thomas showed delegates an advert created by his office but pointed out that, owing to funding restrictions, it was only shown in the early hours of the morning.
"That's public service advertising for you," he said wryly. "We can't afford prime time."
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