UK Cybercrime Prosecutions Rise by a Third

UK Cybercrime Prosecutions Rise by a Third

Cybercrime prosecutions rose by over a third (36%) in the UK last year, according to new stats issued by law firm Pinsent Masons.

In 2015, there were 61 recorded prosecutions for cyber offenses, up from an – admittedly small – figure of 45 in 2014.

They make up just a small proportion of the 9401 prosecutions for white collar crime last year, which rose from 9343 the previous year. Although the stats represent the first increase in five years, they remain much lower than the 11,000+ tally of 2011.

Barry Vitou, head of global corporate crime at Pinsent Masons, argued that the police and other agencies needed adequate resources to follow-up all leads.

“The fact that prosecutions continue to rise in this area is promising – and indicative of the efforts the authorities are making to get to grips with tackling what is a highly complex issue,” he said in a statement.

“However – these new kinds of crime require police forces to adapt quickly, and considerable time and investment is needed to ensure they deal with it effectively. Businesses’ position is fairly clear – they want as much action as possible from enforcement agencies, to prevent cybercrime and to prosecute.”

Part of the problem still lies with the fact that many businesses simply don’t report fraud incidents, either because they don’t want to affect the brand by going public, or because they have no confidence police will ever catch those responsible.

This lack of openness continues to hamper white hat investigators, who still don’t have a clear picture of the scale of the problem in the UK.

In a bid to address that, the Office of National Statistics last year released a more comprehensive Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), estimating 2.5 million cybercrime incidents and 5.1 million cases of fraud.

However, even these figures are likely to be well short of the mark.

The government earlier this year announced a new Home Office-led Joint Fraud Taskforce, to work alongside the country’s leading banks, the National Crime Agency, fraud prevention service Cifas, Financial Fraud Action UK, City of London Police and the Bank of England.

Online fraud has reached its highest point since records began, accounting for £217m in 2014, or nearly half (45%) of all card fraud, according to Financial Fraud Action UK’s Fraud the Facts 2015 report.

Also, online banking losses jumped a massive 64% to reach £133.5m in 2015.

Source: Information Security Magazine