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Home Secretary finds £9million to fight 'dark web'


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Officers will undergo a new training programme and cybercrime units will be set up in every force.

Home Secretary finds £9million to fight 'dark web'

The Home Secretary will today announce a financial package to bolster law enforcement’s capabilities to crackdown on criminals who exploit the dark web.

As part of a £9 million investment, law enforcement’s response will be boosted to tackle those who use the anonymity of the online space for illegal activities such as the selling of firearms, drugs, malware and people.

More than £5 million will also be used to support the police to establish dedicated cybercrime units in every force to investigate and pursue cyber criminals at a regional and local level.

Currently only 30 per cent of forces have a cyber capability that reaches the minimum standard.

The funding is part of £50 million of newly earmarked money to ensure police and prosecutors have the right tools to tackle cybercrime.

A proportion of the capital, which comes from the National Cyber Security Programme and existing Home Office budgets, will also be used to develop a new cyber training programme for police and the wider criminal justice system, sponsored by the National Police Chiefs' Council.

Speaking today at the CYBERUK conference in Manchester, Home Secretary Amber Rudd will say: “The world of cyber is fast-developing and we need a fast-developing response to match. One that recognises that it is the responsibility of everyone in the UK to fight the evolving threat.

“And then there’s the dark web. A dark and dangerous place where anonymity emboldens people to break the law in the most horrifying of ways. A platform of dangerous crimes and horrific abuse.

“A sickening shopping list of services and products are available.”

The Home Secretary will add: “So today I’m pleased to announce that we will be giving over £9million to enhance the UK’s specialist law enforcement response.

“They will use this money to help combat the criminals who continually exploit the anonymity of the dark web.”

There is currently a network of more than 40 regional cyber “protect” officers who provide a link between the local and national law enforcement response to cyber crime. 

They deliver cyber security advice to protect citizens and businesses, based on the latest National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) threat analysis.

Earlier this year, UK law enforcement secured the conviction of Matthew Falder, a prolific paedophile operating on the Dark Web, who admitted 137 charges and was sentenced to 32 years.

Meanwhile, GCHQ is expanding its network of sites. The intelligence agency, often referred to as the UK's listening post, announced it will open a new facility in Manchester next year.

Officials said the secure base would be "at the heart of the nation's security, using cutting-edge technology and technical ingenuity to identify and disrupt threats to the UK".

GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming said: "I'm delighted we're opening a new site in the city of Manchester.

"It will create hundreds of high-calibre jobs for people who will have a vital role in keeping this country safe.

"Our new facility will open up a huge new pool of highly talented, tech-savvy recruits vital to our future success."

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