West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner welcomes grant to help in fight against cyber-crime (31 Jul 2015)

The fight against cyber-crime in West Yorkshire has been given a boost following the approval of a grant.

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, has welcomed the grant of £643,290 from the Police Knowledge Fund. It will be used to produce an evidence-based approach to fighting cyber-crime from the frontline. This will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of investigating cyber enabled crime.

The key partners who will be involved in work are Leeds Beckett University, West Yorkshire Police Hi-Tech Crime Unit and Cyber-Crime Unit, CENTRIC (Centre of Excellence for Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research) at Sheffield Hallam University and Canterbury Christ Church University.

The Police Knowledge Fund is coordinated by the College of Policing and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "The Police are dealing with ever more complex crimes including a growing amount of cyber-crime. This money will help us to look at how best we can tackle it and make our response more efficient.

"The project will analyse how cyber-crime is currently investigated from the experience of the member of public reporting the crime, to the call taker, the attending officer, investigator and the Crown Prosecution Service - it will identify any gaps and needs in the policing of cyber-crime."

Detective Inspector Vanessa Smith of West Yorkshire Police's cyber-crime team, said:

"Cyber-crime is an area of criminality that is rapidly expanding and this funding will further increase our capability to combat what continues to be emerging threat.

"We have now established a full team of officers and specialist staff dedicated to tackling these type of offences.

"The grant will ensure we remain on the front foot in addressing what is a key priority for the Force and the communities of West Yorkshire."

Professor Colin Pattinson, Head of the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering at Leeds Beckett University, said: "We are delighted to be awarded funding by the Police Knowledge Fund. The prevalence of digital technology means that it forms a part of many 'traditional' criminal activities as well as generating a form of crime of its own - cybercrime.

"Whatever the activity, digital technology generates and stores massive amounts of data, some of which will be vital to an investigation. The volume of data presented to an investigator, the time taken to locate relevant information and the risk that some will be overlooked, can have a major impact on the likelihood of successful prosecution. This project will evaluate current and potential ways of carrying out these investigations, seeking to bring about improvements in both effectiveness and efficiency of a range of methodologies. This project is an excellent complement to our taught courses, allowing our students to benefit from the knowledge gained."

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