Electronic Warfare

Home Office written question – answered on 23rd November 2015.

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Photo of Douglas Carswell Douglas Carswell UKIP, Clacton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the effect of increased cyber-security funding on the numbers of (a) frontline police and (b) police community support officers.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Cyber Security, including combating cyber crime, is a top priority threat to national security. That is why, through the National Cyber Security Programme, we have invested over £90 million under the last Parliament to bolster the law enforcement response, and we will continue to invest. As the Chancellor announced this week, this Government has committed to spending £1.9 billion on cyber security over the next five years, including for cyber crime.

To date, we have funded the development of National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) and of cyber teams within the Regional Organised Crime Unit network; and invested in Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. We are clear that front line policing also needs to adapt with the changing nature of the threat. In partnership with the College of Policing, we have rolled out cyber crime training so that it is available to all police officers and staff, with over 150,000 modules completed so far. We recognise that local policing capabilities in respect of the investigation of digital crime are a particular concern – that is why we are working with the National Policing Lead for Digital Investigations to define the capabilities required to conduct effective digital investigations. This Government has also made a commitment to expand the number of volunteer ‘Cyber Specials’ across policing. This will harness expertise from other sectors to further increase police capability at all levels, including within local forces.

This Government will continue investing at the national, regional and local levels to ensure we have the capacity to deal with the volume and sophistication of online crime. We will continue to boost the capabilities of the NCCU by increasing their ability to investigate the most serious cyber crime, both domestically and internationally. We will increase work with industry to stop cyber attacks reaching the UK, and we will work with industry and the public to help them better protect themselves.

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