Only 3 Out of 43 England/Wales Police Forces Ready for Major Cyberattacks

According to an article published by the BBC, only “three out of 43 police forces in England and Wales have a comprehensive plan to deal with a large-scale cyberattack.”

This data comes from a new report produced by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which examined how prepared police are for five national threats.

The threats were laid out by the government in 2013 as priorities that the police should prepare for. They are:

  • Terrorism
  • Civil emergencies
  • Organized crime
  • Public order threats
  • Large-scale cyberattacks

In regard to the large-scale cyberattacks, the report found that only Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and West Midlands have a sufficient plan established. It also discovered that only 2% of police staff out of 37 forces have been trained in investigating cybercrime, according to the BBC article.

The HMIC report stated that only 15 forces had considered cybercrime threats in their strategic threat and risk assessments (STRAs).

“We expected to find police forces had sought to understand the threat and their role in tackling it,” said the HMIC in the report.

“It is now essential that police officers have the capability to deal confidently with the cyber element of crimes as it is fast becoming a dominant method in the perpetration of crime. But more than that, it is becoming a part of everything that the police have to deal with because the Internet and digital technology are part of most people’s lives now. For example, an officer dealing with a missing person might need to access their presence on the Internet as part of his or her enquiries. The police must be able to operate very soon just as well in cyberspace as they do on the street,” said the HMIC.

According to the BBC article, the police response to the cybercrime threat was considered the least well-developed of all the five threats. As such, the report has called for “much greater attention” from police leaders.

 

For the BBC article, click here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26963938
For the HMIC report, click here: http://www.hmic.gov.uk/publication/an-inspection-of-the-arrangements-that-police-forces-have-in-place-to-meet-the-strategic-policing-requirement/