Boost for police skills to tackle cyber crime

This article appears in the May 2014 edition of the College newsletter.

A national assessment on the impact and threat to the UK from serious and organised crime has been released.

The National Crime Agency this month published its assessment, and found the single cross-cutting issue that has changed the landscape for serious and organised crime is the growth in scale and speed of internet technology.

As the professional body for the police service, we're taking steps to equip everyone in policing with the tools, skills and knowledge needed to tackle cyber crime.

College of Policing Head of Professional Practice, Giles Herdale, said:

"The National Crime Agency's report shows how many people communicate, organise and trade over the internet. This has also brought criminals new opportunities.

"The speed at which these changes have taken place has challenged the police service to ensure that our officers and staff are equipped with the right skills to tackle crime. We want to end cyber crime being a specialism in police and make it a core part of every investigator's work.

"In the coming year we will train around 6,000 detectives, and provide new guidance aimed at helping every officer understand cyber crime, as well as working with overseas law enforcement agencies."

New guidance (which will form part of Authorised Professional Practice) on cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crime is being developed and will be published this autumn. It will highlight local, regional and national capabilities, and will be aimed at a non-specialist audience.

The new guidance will cover reporting, including the role of Action Fraud, initial response to online abuse and harassment as well as other cyber-enabled crimes, preserving evidence and digital forensics, specialist capabilities and management of complex investigations including international liaison. It will link in with other areas of police public protection work so that the online elements of these kinds of crimes - for example, online grooming in child sexual exploitation cases - are linked in with existing guidance.

The College has also developed a series of e-learning and classroom based courses to mainstream cyber skills across the service. Online courses for police officers include: 

  • Digital Communications, Cybercrime, Social Media and Policing (Released April 2013)
  • Cyber Crime and Digital Policing - Introduction (Released August 2013)
  • Cyber Crime and Digital Policing - First Responder (Released September 2013)
  • Cyber Crime and Digital Policing - Investigation (Released October 2013)

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