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Cyber crime: 'Business tie-ups may be required to find talent'

Ian Weinfass

Police Oracle

11 December 2014  

PA Consulting Group’s report, on how the police tackle cybercrime, is featured in Police Oracle. The report highlights that the police may need to form partnerships with private companies in order to get the expertise they need to tackle cyber crime.

Carl Roberts, a security expert at PA and co-author of the report says: “As forces try to grow their capacity in the area, they will find it harder to recruit talent who could otherwise work at top IT companies.”

The article highlights the key finding from the survey: law enforcement professionals believe that the time they spend tackling cyber crime will treble over the next three years, but that just 30 per cent say they currently have the skills and tools to do the job effectively.

Carl explains that forces could struggle to hire suitably skilled people in the area and may be better served looking to private companies or academia for help.

Carl goes on to say: “Some national agencies have been looking at this for several years and now other agencies and the police are getting into this area too. They are all wanting people who are brilliant at exploiting data, who understand really complex things, and they are all going to be fishing in a very limited pool of resources to recruit those specialists. We're trying to say to police forces 'don't necessarily fall into the trap of thinking you can recruit people who just fall into your existing structures'.

“These are new graduates who could maybe get a job at Google or somewhere, so forces are going to have to think really carefully about how they're going to get those skills and it might not be the traditional recruitment methods, it may be partnerships with technology companies or using academia more.”

Carl stresses: “We're not saying all the people in existing posts are not good at their jobs, but as the need for these data scientists grows in cyber that's probably not going to come through your traditional way of recruiting.”

He goes on to point out that salaries are much higher in the private sector and that those picking up the skills to investigate online crime in the public sector could move on, following a few years of training and experience.

The article reports that the survey, which was compiled in association with the Police National Analysis Working Group, found a patchy network for reporting and sharing data with duplication existing in many areas.

Carl explains that the report calls for legislative changes to enable better online investigations: “There is a need for that legislation but they're going to have to give much better examples of why they need it and explaining that this is not big brother and there will still be constraints on what can be done."

Chief Constable Giles York, the national lead for Intelligence Analysis is also quoted in the article. He says: “I am sure all colleagues will find the insights in this report very useful as they develop their response to the growing challenge of cybercrime.”


For a copy of our report, Cybercrime Tipping Point, click here.

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