Cybercrime

The efforts of the Home Office and Metropolitan Police with the establishment and funding of the Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU) are to be applauded.

The very fact it exists shows cybercriminals that they have something to fear from law enforcement – an organised and high profile deterrent.

But there is still a feeling that stealing money through electronic means isn’t treated as seriously as a crime committed physically.

It could possibly be something to do with some people’s pre-conceived notions of computer-related criminality. It’s not uncommon to see non-tech folk thinking of hackers as geeky teenagers.

Maybe it’s simply due to the nature of the crime. Bank robberies often involve confrontation and violence – cybercrime doesn’t even need the bad guy to be physically present.

But the rewards of cybercrime can often be much greater than simply holding up a bank. We’re talking the theft of millions of pounds, done with technology that isn’t really that difficult to procure.

Lawmakers will need to have a think about this if there is to effective deterrents against cybercrime. At the moment it must be encouraging to cybercriminals that the reward far outweighs the risk involved.

And this will hamper the really good work done by the PCeU, which has made big strides in recent years battling a problem that only gets bigger.