London’s Metropolitan Police force has opened up a new unit to tackle cyber fraud in the capital that it estimates is vastly under-reported even though there are thousands of cases every year.
Over 200 organised crime groups in the country’s capital city are being targeted by Scotland Yard’s new “Falcon” cyber taskforce that is aiming to get to the bottom of the 54,000 reports and why more don’t inform the police when they become victims.
“Many people tell us it is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the amount of crime. I think it is significantly under-reported and we want to give people in London, businesses and individual victims, the confidence to report and assure them there will be a policing response at the end of it,” Detective Superintendent Jayne Snelgrove told the Evening Standard.
Officers are currently investigating 18 cases that include everything from online retail and auction site fraud to courier scams and investment frauds. DCS Snelgrove, head of the unit, explained that one of its main aims is to improve investigations into business fraud in London and to that end it has set up a series of “volume crime hubs”.
“We will have volume crime hubs because one weakness was that we were not responding to the volume of crimes being reported through Action Fraud and into the Met,” Snelgrove added.
The crime hubs, which are in Edmonton and Peckham with plans to open a further facility in west London, allow individuals and businesses to report fraud directly to the police.
Snelgrove’s team is made up of a range of officers that are trained in different facets of the law such as digital forensics officers, cyber investigation specialists and those that have computer science degrees that are being trained up as detectives.
The squad has already made over 100 arrests since launching in October and the Met think that more than 200 gangs around the world are targeting London by using the Internet from the United States, Russia and many more locations.
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