The police have announced their intention to create three new e-crime hubs to tackle the growing menace of cybercrime.
The new centres, in Yorkshire and the Humber, the Northwest, and the East Midlands will work alongside the Metropolitan Police Centre e-crime Unit (PCeU) which was established in October 2008 as part of the National e-Crime Programme.
Details of the initiative were announced at the e-crime conference in Sheffield, organised by the deputy assistant commissioner of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Janet Williams.
“The government has acknowledged a need to collaborate and provide a structured response to the cyber security of the UK and these three additional policing units are going to play a critical role in our ability to combat the threat,” she said.
The new centres form part of the government's £30m strategy to tackle e-crime over the next four years.
Cyber crime was identified in the National Security Risk Assessment as posing a similar threat to international terrorism, a military crisis and natural disasters.
Even so, the new centres will only employ a total of nine officers initially, each being staffed by one detective sergeant and two detective constables.
Last week, a group of MPs criticised the government for not doing enough to help Britons protect themselves against the threat of cyber crime and called for the establishment of a one-stop-shop to report e-crime.
While the new centres will do not quite live up to those demands, they will strength the police's ability to tackle online crime, said James Brokenshire, minister for crime and security.
"As well as leading the fight in their regions, these units mark a significant step forward in developing a national response to cyber crime, which will be driven by the new National Crime Agency," he added.
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