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Home Office Press Release, 13 November, 2000

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359/2000 13 November 2000 020 7 273 4610

More hi-tech crime investigators are to be recruited as part of a 25 million strategy to tackle crime on the Internet and make the UK one of the best and safest places in the world to conduct and engage in e-commerce.

Up to 80 dedicated "cybercops" will be deployed both nationally and locally to fight the growing menace of crime on the Internet, the Home Secretary announced today.

The cash injection follows endorsements by the Prime Minister to improve the technical capability of law enforcement to investigate Internet crime and establish the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, which will begin work in April 2001.

It will also place the UK at the forefront of the international fight against cybercrime and, in line with our G8 commitments, help fund a 24-hour international hot line to trade information on potential attacks on the national infrastructure and promote closer cross border working.

As part of the strategic fight against crime the Home Secretary also announced a 37 million investment in a National Management Information System (NMIS) for police forces in England and Wales.

NMIS will provide the police with a comprehensive information management and analysis tool, 'joining-up' data held on the various information technology systems from every force and area of police work. The system will present this data in a consistent format so the whole range of police business can be easily and reliably compared and analysed across the country.

While the NMIS roll out currently applies to police forces, the system has the potential to provide a range of organisations, including partners in the criminal justice system, with comparable performance information.

The Home Secretary Jack Straw said:

John Abbott, Director General of the National Criminal and Intelligence Service said:

Bob Packham, Deputy Director General of the National Crime Squad, said:

The 25m cash boost will fund up to 40 dedicated investigators based at the multi-agency National Hi-Tech Crime Unit and up to 46 officers in local forces.

It will offer, for the first time, a national and local capability for combating cybercrime.

Nationally the unit will investigate attacks on the Critical National Infrastructure; major Internet based offences of paedophilia, fraud or extortion; information from seized electronic media; and gather intelligence on cybercrime and cybercriminals.

This will be supported by work in local forces to investigate crimes committed on computers, help with requests for information from overseas and provide intelligence.


1. In September 1999 the Performance and Innovation Unit published its report "e-commerce@its.best.uk." The report gave a Government commitment to "improve the technical capability of law enforcement and establish an Internet Crime Unit. The UKOnline Annual Report, launched by the PM in September of this year, included a commitment to establish a National Hi-Tech Crime Unit that would begin work in April 2001.

2. The 25 million funding for the National Hi-Tech Crime Strategy and Unit is being provided from existing Home Office funds to police in England and Wales.

3. Creation of a National Hi-Tech Crime Unit is a part of law enforcement strategy on hi-tech crime, which has been developed at NCIS on behalf of Association of Chief Police Officers, National Criminal Intelligence Service, National Crime Squad and HM Customs and Excise.

4. The commitment to a National Hi-Tech Crime Strategy and Unit is set against the background of the implementation of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the work we are taking forward through the G8 Lyon Group and 25 million to set up a National Technical Assistance Centre (Home Office press release 070/2000 refers).

5. Funded by a 37 million allocation from the SR2000 settlement, the National Management Information System will roll out to the 43 forces in England and Wales by April 2003. NMIS may be expanded at a later date with the Scottish police forces and Royal Ulster Constabulary expressing an interest in the system.

6. NMIS will be rolled out to forces by the Police Information Technology Organisation with their commercial partner Hays Redfern. By providing a consistent and comprehensive approach to information management and analysis, the NMIS 'data warehouse' will have numerous local, national, operational and strategic applications.

7. At the local operational level NMIS will aid more accurate analysis of local crime trends and inform operational responses. For example, improved analysis of the fight against drug crime could have an impact on related areas such as vehicle crime or burglary that are used to feed a habit.

8. At a strategic management level, analysis of the experience and skills of officers could point to more effective ways of dealing with localised crime rates. And by enabling the sharing of data and analysis at a national level, the police could provide an enhanced proactive response to national crime trends, and make informed decisions about how best to use their resources.

9. The 37 million investment in NMIS is the latest in a massive programme of investment in technology for the police service:

500 million for the new national digital police radio system 'Airwaves';
168 million for the national DNA database and sample collection aiming to hold profiles of the entire criminally active population by 2004;
46 million for a National Strategy for Police Information Systems;
25 million for a National Technical Assistance Centre for processing lawfully obtained computer communications and encrypted data.

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