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Police encouraging businesses to report cyber-crime

UK Police are to introduce a bespoke cyber-crime reporting facility in a bid to encourage businesses to contact the police when they have been targeted this way.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of cyber-attacks reported to the police in the latest report stood at just 26,000.

However, police estimate that the number of cyber-attacks during that period was actually 976,000, which means that only three per cent of incidents are being reported to the police.

It is believed that the under-reporting is due to a number of reasons, these include businesses not believing that the police have the capabilities to deal with cyber-crime,  thinking that action cannot be taken against criminals operating from outside the UK and mainly because of the fear that business operations will be disrupted whilst the police carry out an investigation.

In the past year, the number of arrests due cyber-crime has increased 65 per cent and the number of convictions has increased by 60 per cent, due in part to collaboration with the UK’s Five Eyes partners that has enabled UK law enforcement to arrest, extradite and prosecute cybercriminals.

In addition to providing police with investigative leads to bring cybercriminals to justice, another key incentive for businesses to report cyber-crime is the fact that UK police forces are now in a position to provide support and help limit further attacks and damage to the business.

The national centre for reporting cyber-crime is currently Action Fraud run by the City of London Police, but work is underway to introduce a dedicated cyber-crime reporting facility for businesses in early 2020.

The new platform will be designed to enable police to ask businesses a series of questions to establish the nature of the attack and the nature of the business.

Chief Constable Peter Goodman, cyber-crime lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said: “Based on the type of crime and the size and sector of the organisation affected, the case will then be directed either to the NCSC, the NCA or the cyber-crime unit in the relevant regional organised crime unit to ensure that businesses hit by cyber-crime get the most appropriate response.

“As the system improves, we should get a much better understanding of the footprint of cybercriminals in the UK, of how they are cashing out in attacks on the UK, and be able to bring them to justice.”

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Andrew Sharp

Andrew Sharp

Associate Director - Head of Criminal Department
I was born and brought up in Coventry before graduating in law from Bristol University in 1976. I qualified as a solicitor in 1979 and became a partner in 1982.

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