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SOCSI criminologist joins Government cyber crime reduction partnership

18 March 2013

Dr Matthew Williams

Dr Matthew Williams

Leading criminologist and senior lecturer at the School of Social Sciences, Dr Matthew Williams, has been invited by Security Minister James Brokenshire and David Willetts (Minister for Universities and Science) to join the UK Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership (CCRP).  

He joins a team of 12 expert members across industry, academia, government and law enforcement to tackle the growing problem of online crime.

The CCRP aims to bring together the police, security industry experts and academics to combat the increasingly organised nature of online criminality. The new unit was announced by security minister James Brokenshire at a security briefing hosted by the Chartered Institute of IT. 

"For too long the public's perception of cyber crime has been a lone bedroom hacker stealing money from a bank account," Mr Brokenshire said. "But the reality is that cyber criminals are organised and global, with a new breed of criminals selling 'off-the-shelf' software to aid gangs in exploiting the public."

He added: "This government is committed to tackling this threat and we have already had great success. But we want to go further and through the creation of the National Cyber Crime Unit within the NCA and innovations such as the new Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership, I am confident we can bring these criminals to justice.'"

Dr Williams commented upon his invitation: "It is an honour to join this nationally important group of cyber crime experts who have been brought together by the government to advise on the UK response to what is now a tier one threat to our economy and national security.  Our past and continuing research in this area at Cardiff University will inform strategy at the heart of government."

Pioneering research funded by Nominet Trust and conducted by Dr Williams and Professor Mike Levi at the School of Social Sciences reviewed existing sources of evidence on cyber crime reiterating that it is now the typical volume property crime in the United Kingdom impacting more of the public than traditional acquisitive crimes such as burglary and car theft.  The study was the first in the UK to map the existing cooperation space amongst various UK cyber crime fighters and examined the feasibility of establishing a Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership.

The government plans to invest £650 million in its National Cyber Security Strategy over the next four years and the CCRP is only one of a several new Cyber Security Initiatives with others including the launch of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) next month to help share information between industry and government, and the establishment of a UK National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). The government is also planning to create the National Cyber Crime Unit later this year, merging the Police eCrime Unit (PCeU) and the Serious Organised Crime Unit Cyber wing.  

The Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership is jointly chaired by Security Minister James Brokenshire and David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, and it is due to meet for the first time on the 19th of March. 

This story also appeared on the Home Office website. View the article here