NI: PSNI to expand size of Cyber Crime Unit by 50 per cent

NI: PSNI to expand size of Cyber Crime Unit by 50 per cent

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will expand its Cyber Crime Unit in order to better tackle the growing threat of cybercrime.

Nine officers will be transferred to the unit, boosting its manpower by 50 per cent, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

PSNI cyber crime lead, Detective Superintendent Jonathan Roberts, told the newspaper: “We are expanding because of the exponential growth in cyber-related crime.

“We are a one-stop shop. These officers are dealing with terrorism, indecent images of children, they are examining computers and phones for cases like murders, rapes, kidnaps and fraud.

“Our investigations range from people being bullied and harassed through social media to capturing evidence from people’s mobile phones and computers.

“We have webcam blackmails, which have recently generated a lot of publicity. In the last 12-18 months there has been a growth in the reporting of it, but it is something we in the PSNI have been aware of for several years.

“Anyone who has done it and is being blackmailed should have confidence to come forward to police.

“It may be embarrassing for them, but it will be dealt with extremely professionally.

“We also deal with malware attacks, targeting businesses and industry. A number of years ago we wouldn’t have seen any of these attacks reported, but now we are seeing on average two to three a week.

“It is a changing crime dynamic. There is a need to have additional officers in to do this work. These officers are doing front line policing. Everything they do in there is about catching people for crime.”

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