City of London police plans new industry reporting system to tackle cyber-crime

The City of London’s Police Commissioner, Adrian Leppard, is seeking up to £4 million from the Home Office to build a new IT system that will improve reporting on cyber-crime from across all sectors of industry.

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The City of London’s Police Commissioner, Adrian Leppard, is seeking up to £4 million from the Home Office to build a new IT system that will improve reporting on cyber-crime from across all sectors of industry.

Industry reporting on fraudulent activity that is enabled by the internet has been heavily criticised by MPs and industry experts, which claim that much of the criminal activity remains unknown to government and police forces, as industry bodies resolve many complaints directly with customers.

However, Leppard is hoping that by building a system that receives basic information from banks, SMEs, retail, and all other areas of industry, the government will gain a better understanding of how cyber-crime is impacting the UK. He believes that this information could be used to help influence policy and bring in additional government funding.

“One thing we are really trying to get right is industry reporting. Industry will never be in a position to ring up a call centre, or fill in a form for each crime. What we have to do is define the technical interface between us and the whole sector, so we can just automate feeds.

"There is a myriad of industries, using a myriad of systems – so what we have to build is a common, thin architecture that can give us the basic minimum to help build the intelligence picture for this country,” said Leppard.

“If we said: we need X number of pieces of information, no industry is going to start rewriting all their systems, but if we can get one common architecture that could work. There will be two common threads to the feeds of information – one will be the offending criminal and one is going to be the victim."

The lack of industry reporting means that crime figures are not accurate, Leppard added.

"In a normal crime you would want the time, the day, exactly what happened, but we will never be able to do that. We need to be more basic. We need to get this reporting right so we know the scale of reported crime – at the moment our reported crime figures aren’t right."

To read Computerworld UK’s full interview with Adrian Leppard, Police Commissioner for the City of London, click here.

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