Report Highlights Police Unprepared For Cyber Attack

Apr 17, 2014

Research has revealed that of the 43 Police forces in England and Wales, only three have a comprehensive plan to deal with a large-scale cyber-attack.

The report, compiled by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), claims that only Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and West Midlands are prepared for such an attack.

It also discovered that 2% of Police staff in 37 forces has been trained to investigate cybercrime.

The purpose of the report was to examine how Police forces across the country have responded to the five threats identified as priorities by the government last year.

These five threats were terrorism, civil emergencies, organised crime, public order threats and large-scale cyber-attacks.

The Home Office called for a nationally required policing response to counter each of these threats as part of its Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR).

This report is the first in a serious of inspections designed to see how forces have responded to the guidelines.

Not Enough Development

Despite this, the research claims that the response to national threats has not changed as much as it was expected to.

According to HMIC inspectors, the Police have an incomplete understanding of these dangers and more needs to be done by all Police services.

They claimed that the least developed response was to cyber-threats, in “stark contrast” to deal with the other major issues identified by Whitehall.

“The Police must be able to operate very soon just as well in cyber space as they do in the street,” claimed the report.

It also added that forces are “silent” when preventing cybercrime and the ability to deal with threats in this area is “largely absent.”

Police Not Ready For Digital Age

Despite the government’s digital by default agenda for the public sector, policing services across the country seem to be struggling to keep up with evolving technology.

The Metropolitan Police Service was among high profile public sector organisations that publicly failed to be prepared for the Windows XP end of support deadline.

Despite this, the Met does seem to be attempting to bring itself into the 21st century; in February it announced a £200m tech transformation was planned, which will see officers equipped with wearable gadgets and iPads to name a few changes.

Police forces elsewhere in the country are also making the effort to embrace the digital age, for example, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire recently made the decision to developed a joint IT department.




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