E-crime unit calls on business advice

The long-awaited £7.4 million Police Central e-crime Unit is giving businesses their first opportunity to collectively have their say on how it will tackle cybercrime.

On 24 February, members of the Corporate IT Forum, whose members work for 150 blue-chip organisations, will meet at the CSO Forum with non-members to discuss the unit and address its chiefs.

Delegates at the event - CIOs and chief information security officers, are expected to seek clarification on the unit's powers and where business will fit in.

The unit's funding will come under scrutiny. Its budget of £7.4 million, consists of a £3.5 million contribution from government and £3.9 million from the Metropolitan Police.

Senior representatives from the police's Computer Crime Team, the National ecrime Enforcement team, the Partnership Development team and the Coordination and Communications team will be present at the event. Additionally, security bosses at two FTSE 50 companies will talk about how they are tackling cybercrime.

David Roberts, chief executive at the Corporate IT Forum, said businesses needed a "constructive relationship" with the new unit. "The formation of the PCeU is an excellent indication that the Government is now treating this issue with the seriousness it deserves," he added.

Detective superintendent Charlie McMurdie, one of the PCeU unit's heads, told Computerworld UK: "We need business to work with us more proactively." The PCeU will "draw on their widespread knowledge" to "go after" the cybercriminals, she said.

"Our focus remains to use joint up intelligence, including reports from the City, to arrest the criminals," she said. The unit is currently being created and is expected to begin fuller operation this spring. Its creation followed years of pressure by business and police chiefs, who lamented the original National High Tech Crime Unit having been rolled into the Serious Organised Crime Agency in 2006.

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