National Crime Agency flags up need for more big data skills

Written by Tamsin Rutter and Sam Trendall on 1 August 2018 in News
News

Deputy director general discusses agency’s requirement for ‘people who are comfortable working with information, data and analytics’

The National Crime Agency’s second-in-command wants the organisation to build the data and analytics skills of its investigators to help combat rising cybercrime.

Deputy director general Nina Cope said that, as “more and more threat is going online”, the agency needs to ensure the technology and data expertise of its investigators keeps pace with that of the criminals they pursue.

Responding the challenges of cybercrime is not just about “technology and bits of kit”, she said, it is about building the right skills and the right teams, and developing an agile and responsive organisation that can “pool skills from across different areas” and attract the right people.


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One area where the NCA needs more of the right people – “alongside everyone else”, Cope said – is big data. “We lead on the investigative response to cyber, so that means we need people who are comfortable working with information, data and analytics in that environment.”

The organisation has also struggled to compete in the jobs market for investigators, intelligence officers and other skilled roles. 

“We say we are at the pinnacle of law enforcement,” Cope said – they take on the criminals who operate at the high end of high risk. “Yet what we found was that some of our key people were paid very differently to people working in regional organised crime units or forces.” 

Cope does not underestimate the criminals operating on the serious and organised crime scene. 

“[They’re] clever, they’re chronic, they’re relentless in their approach,” she said. 

Recent NCA cases include dark web drug dealers, a European slavery network, and the academic Matthew Falder who blackmailed hundreds of people into sending him depraved images online. 


Cope’s comments were made during an interview with PublicTechnology’s sister publication Civil Service World. Click here to read the full interview

 

About the author

Tamsin Rutter is senior reporter at Civil Service World. She tweets as @TamsinRutter.

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology.

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