Cyber crime

Cyber crime means criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet.

Cyber crime covers so many different crime types, but the common theme is that the crime is committed over the internet. Technology has helped us in so many ways over time, but some people choose to use this to take advantage of others. Most cyber crimes are carried out for financial gain and are a type of fraud. Where the reason is not financial, it may be for the use of exploitation or harassment of a victim.

The law enforcement response - how the police work together

The National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) is the UK's lead for tackling the threat from serious and organised cyber crime.

They lead, support and coordinate cyber law enforcement activity across the UK, working with partners to provide specialist cyber support and expertise across law enforcement. They focus on:

  • arresting and disrupting cyber criminals and the infrastructure they use to commit offences
  • looking at innovative ways to prevent people from becoming involved in cyber crime
  • helping to protect the public from becoming a victim of cyber crime
  • ensuring that the UK is prepared and equipped to respond to significant cyber incidents.

Regional cyber crime units deliver a regional and local cyber investigation, bringing cyber skills to the investigation of serious and organised crime and increase cyber awareness across their local police forces, community safety programmes and criminal justice partners. They work closely with the NCCU.

Local police forces have the responsibility to investigate cyber crime at a local level. They work closely with Action Fraud to ensure an appropriate police response to reports from the public and businesses. They share their knowledge of the cyber crime threat to improve the regional and national picture, and support cyber crime operations led by regional and national teams. Forces are also responsible for supporting their local communities to be better protected from cyber crime by sharing key messages on how to stay safe online.