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Only 2% of UK police trained to deal with cybercrime

A report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has found that only 2 per cent of police staff across England and Wales have been trained in investigating cybercrime.

On top of that, the investigation found that only Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and West Midlands police forces had sufficient plans in place to deal with a possible large-scale cyber-attack.

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Last year the government created five national threat areas (terrorism, civil emergency, crime, public order and cybercrime) which police forces needed to prepare themselves for. The Home Office then called for a nationally-required plan of response from the forces to counter each threat.

HMIC inspectors, though, said that they were dumbstruck by how incomplete the understanding of the threats was to the various forces of the UK.

Inspectors found that the ability to deal with cyber-threats was "largely absent" while senior officers had no idea what constituted a large scale cyber-attack incident.

A large-scale incident could be "a criminal attack on a financial institution to gather data or money" or an "aggregated threat where many people or businesses across the UK are targeted" states the government definitions, according to the BBC.

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In Scotland, police have formed a "cyber-resilience" group with industry experts aiming to spread awareness. It is estimated that Scottish businesses lose £5 billion per year to cybercrime.

"This report will assist chiefs and the College of Policing in ongoing work." said chief constable Justine Curran to the BBC, "and will provide useful ideas for enhancement where this can be achieved within the current financial austerity across policing,"