6 April 2005The UK’s technology police, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, has appointed a new head, as UK business is being hit by the increasing threat from Internet-based crime.
Detective chief superintendent Sharon Lemon has been appointed head of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU). She replaces Len Hynds who has been promoted to assistant chief constable with the National Crime Squad.
Since its inception in April 2001, the multi-agency NHTCU has been involved in over 100 investigations and has arrested over 200 people. “During its first four years, the Unit has established a clear presence in this field and built an outstanding profile nationally and internationally. I am keen to build on this excellent start,” said Lemon.
Lemon joined the Metropolitan Police nearly 30 years ago, moving to the National Crime Squad in 1999 which was followed by a stint as head of firearms. Her most recent role was heading up the Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT), the national and international single point of contact for on-line child abuse investigations.
A recent survey released by the NHTCU found that hi-tech crime is costing UK-based companies with more than 1000 employees a minimum of £2.45 billion. Of the 200 companies surveyed, 89% had suffered theft of information or data and 90% reported unauthorized penetration of their company’s systems.
“Over the past year, we have seen a sustained increase in the professionalism of cybercriminals,” said detective superintendent Mick Deats, deputy head of the NHTCU. “It is only through better understanding of the scale and the scope of the problem that we will be able to build effective strategies to deal with it,” he added.