Policing: Number of cyber-focused officers rises 12%
Annual data release shows the number of officers in cyber functions increased by more than 50
The number of police officers across England and Wales dedicated to investigating cybercrime rose by 12% during the 2021/22 year.
Newly published annual Home Office figures reveal that, as of 31 March, forces cumulatively employed 521 officers focused on cybercrime. This compares with a total of 465 at the end of the prior year.
The addition of 56 further officers represents an annual increase of about 12%.
Alongside this growth, the number of other staff employed by the police in cybercrime-dedicated positions rose very slightly: from 531 to 535.
There are also three police community support officers currently in post and focused on cyber offences: one each in Gwent, Leicestershire, and Lincolnshire.
As of 2019, all of the 43 local forces had established a unit dedicated to cyber.
The Metropolitan Police is the home for a little more than one in 10 of the total number of cyber officers around the country, with 58 digital specialists employed in the London force. The City of London Police, which houses the national Action Fraud service, employs a further 13.
West Yorkshire Police has 42 cybercrime investigators, while Northumbria Police – which serves as a regional hub for the north-east of England has 39. Other regional centres of cyber expertise include Gwent with 31 serving officers, Hampshire with 30, and Hertfordshire with 24.
The 21 officers in Leicestershire and 19 in Derbyshire also make the East Midlands a hub of cyber specialism.
The proportion of offences resulting in a formal charge increased slightly, but remains at barely more than one in every 50
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