Cyber-crime

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th September 2017.

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Photo of Marie Rimmer Marie Rimmer Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Disabled People) 12:00 am, 5th September 2017

How Government investment in (a) cyber-security and (b) the National Cyber Security Centre will support victims of cyber-crime; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government are investing £1.9 billion to transform our ability to respond to the cyber-threats we face. This includes continuing to develop our support to victims of cyber-crime. I am committed to making sure that victims get the support they need to cope with and, as far as possible, recover from the effects of crime. The National Cyber Security Centre is part of GCHQ, which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has ministerial responsibility for.

Photo of Marie Rimmer Marie Rimmer Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)

Given that it is Government policy that victim support is commissioned locally by individual police and crime commissioners, is the Minister content that there is sufficient resource for victim support? Given the year-on-year increase in cyber-crime, and considering the national and international nature and background of cyber-criminals, does he not agree that a single, national approach to victim support would act as a better deterrent and a better support structure for victims, rather than allowing criminals to cherry-pick among the 43 police forces?

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

As I made clear in my initial response, cyber-security policy does not sit with this Department—in fact, it sits with the Cabinet Office. Victim support funding has gone up from £51 million in 2010-11, and I was pleased to announce that it is going up to £96 million in 2017-18. Most of that is spent via PCCs. Importantly, I have put in place an audit of the performance of PCCs with regard to funding for victims’ services.

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North

As crime changes and the focus on cyber-crime grows, what assurances can the Minister give us that police budgets will match that changed focus and that we will not see a loss of bobbies on the beat as resources are inevitably shifted?

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Unfortunately, I am not a Minister at the Home Office, so I cannot really respond in detail to that question. I would encourage the hon. Gentleman to write to the relevant Minister.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning Conservative, Hemel Hempstead

When will we see the draft of the victims’ Bill, which was committed to by the Government and Her Majesty’s Opposition?

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. We committed to the victim’s Bill in the last manifesto. We are up against it in terms of parliamentary time, as I am sure he understands, but work continues on the legislation most likely to underpin the victims’ code.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

The Minister will recognise how vital international co-operation is in tackling cyber-crime. I hope he is aware of the excellent work done by Europol, with, for example, the UK sending over 400,000 malware files to its malware analysis service since its inception just two years ago. Have the Government decided whether the UK will stay part of that EU mechanism to fight cyber-crime?

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

I hate to repeat myself, but the two policy areas to which the right hon. Gentleman refers do not sit within the Ministry of Justice. Cyber-security sits with the Cabinet Office and our membership of Europol sits with the Home Office.