Police should give cyber-crime victims better service

17 October 2016

DCC Peter Goodman - NPCC lead for cybercrime

DCC Peter Goodman - NPCC lead for cybercrime

Victims of cyber-crime must get a better service from police, says the national lead on cyber-crime.

“Forces are not providing a victim-focussed response to cyber-crime”, Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman told the Police Federation National Detectives’ Forum (PFNDF) seminar.

“Over 50 per cent of all UK crime is now committed online, so why do we have an outdated 43-force infrastructure which goes back to Victorian times?

“If you are a victim of ‘traditional’ crime, such as a burglary, for instance, then policing is great, but we are still consistently letting victims of cyber-crime down where, frankly, policing is not great.”

DCC Goodman urged forces to educate frontline officers to recognise threats from cyber-crime.

“When they are exercising a search warrant, they need to be looking for tell-tale signs. Is there someone locked away in a back room on a computer? Or recognising that they are looking at a very powerful computer that might seem out of place,” he said.

Businesses were also very vulnerable to cyber attacks, he said – in 2015 90% of large organisations and 74% of small businesses had an information security breach, up from 81% and 60% the year before.

Over the year there were more than 16,000 reports to Action Fraud, with £61.8 million reported losses by individuals and businesses. “There is a real issue around complacency about security for companies and businesses – there is lots to be done around staff awareness and training."

Delegates at the PFNDF seminar, held near Scunthorpe, also heard that businesses and industry should work more closely with police to try and prevent cyber attacks, but there were ‘trust issues.’ “We don’t have a great reputation and businesses are reluctant to trust confidential details to us,” said DCC Goodman.