James Brokenshire, the UK Home Office Crime & Security Minister, has announced the integration of the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PeCU) into the National Crime Agency as part of the reorganisation of the UK’s concerted efforts to combat cyber-crime. The National Crime Agency has been likened to the UK’s version of the FBI in the USA, with a focus on organised crime, international gangs and high-level e-crime. The changes are scheduled to begin operations shortly after the London Olympic Games in 2012.
The National Cyber Crime Unit will form an integral part of the new organisation, with SOCA providing intelligence capabilities and PeCU conducting the investigations and act as an information exchange body for other Police forces across the UK.
This initiative, combined with the development of three Regional Cyber-crime Hubs in the North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire & Humberside will help provide significant additional focus and capability to combat cyber-crime. Capabilities will be greatly enhanced and will enable investigators to mount sanctioned cyber-surveillance operations as well as investigate all other aspects of cyber-crime.
Developing successful evidence to support prosecutions will continue being conducted by established Police forensics labs, along with commercial forensics operations including IntaForensics. Computer and mobile phone forensics are continuing to enable the recovery of digital evidence in investigations, with the depth and breadth of evidence recoverable growing each year. Significant amounts of evidence can be recovered from a wide range of devices which include computers, mobile, smart-phones, satellite navigation units, games consoles and other devices.
Andy Frowen, Managing Director of IntaForensics, comments that “As digital devices continue to develop, become smaller and more ubiquitous, it is important that forensic practitioners develop the skills and tools to recover valuable evidence which meets the requirements of the judicial system”