Met Police sets up London-focused cyber crime unit

Aims to work closely with City of London and strengthen relationship with the city's finance sector

The Met Police's new cyber crime unit has revealed that it hopes to work more closely with the financial sector in London.

The MPS Cyber Crime Unit, which was launched on 7 October, aims to investigate cyber crime affecting people and businesses in the capital. This includes malware, phishing, hacking and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

"The unit will investigate all types of cyber crime, but officers are keen to liaise more closely and strengthen our relationship with banks and other financial institutions," a spokesperson for the Met Police said.

"City of London [police] investigate their own crimes but we will continue to liaise closely with them."

The new unit replaces the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) that was previously based at the Met. This unit was disbanded when the National Crime Agency (NCA) was launched on 7 October, and the remit for investigating cyber crime on a national level was transferred to the NCA.

The Met Police spokesperson said that there is enough cyber crime in London to justify a separate unit, which is staffed by 32 officers.

"The unit will be focused on London volume offences, which are more numerous but generally less complex, whereas the NCA is looking at national, high-level offences. There will be crossover at times," the spokesperson said.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Steve Rodhouse, the Met's lead on Organised Crime, said that it wanted to ensure London was a "hostile" environment for cyber criminals.

"We are looking to invest in a number of different fronts, but primarily more into investigating and bringing more people to justice," he said.

"The traditional approach to investigating this type of crime just didn't cut it, so we are looking to create a centre of excellence which is flexible enough to respond to latest threats."

A report earlier this year revealed that the PCeU saved the UK £1.01 billion over the last two and a half years.

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