Met Police sends thousands of new recruits on cyber crime training courses

Met Police boosts the numbers of new recruits on cyber training courses as online cyber attacks and terrorism rise according to official figures

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Patrick Sullivan, Political Editor
On 17 December 2019 08:45

The Metropolitan Police has sent thousands of newly recruited student officers on specialist cyber crime and digital policing training courses, according to official figures. The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act by Nimbus Hosting, examined cyber crime online learning courses undertaken over the two most recent financial years (17/18 and 18/19) by the Met Police.

The findings revealed that 4,534 officers and staffers of various ranks attended the e-learning course “Cyber Crime and Digital Policing - First Responder” in the two most recent financial years. Of this figure, over half of participants (52 per cent) were listed as student officers of the new constable rank. Three chief Detective Chief Inspectors also attended the programme along with four Detective Inspectors. Meanwhile 4,444 officers and staff attended the e-leaning course entitled “Cyber Crime and Digital Policing – Introduction” in the same period. Of this figure, around half were newly serving student officers (51 per cent). Additionally, 3,967 officer and staff attended a course called ‘Cyber Crime and Digital Policing – Investigation’.

Of this figure 2,332 were student officers. The importance of social media sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in identifying victims and stopping crime was underlined with 5,804 course enrolments for officers and staff on a course called “Digital Communications, Social Media, Cyber Crime and Policing.” Of this figure, 42 per cent came from the ‘student officer’ bracket with 2,450 people of this rank completing the course. This course saw a particularly high number of staffers as opposed to serving officers participating in the course.

Duwayne Brooks, anti-crime campaigner and best friend of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence said: “Building a police force equipped with the latest digital skills is critical for improving community relations in the fight against crime. These new recruits are likely to come from more diverse backgrounds than their predecessors, possessing important insights and knowledge into local communities. By harnessing social media platforms and the latest technology, modern policing can tackle crime in close partnership with the wider public, winning the hearts and minds of young people and the disadvantaged.”

Tim Dunton, MD, Nimbus Hosting said “It’s encouraging to see The Met working hard to boost digital skills amongst its new recruits. The fact is that cyber crime remains a very complex issue, having a major impact on businesses, individuals and critical national infrastructure. It’s really important that the people keeping us safe on the front line of policing are properly trained and supported to tackle everything from website hacks to online financial fraud. By giving newly hired officers access to high quality online training, we can be certain that the police forces of the future are properly to prepared to tackle the relentless threats posed by cyber crime.”

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