The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, currently investigating personal Internet security, were told this week that the public face real difficulties in reporting internet based crime. Representatives of Microsoft and members of the open source community agreed that police lack the skills and expertise to deal effectively with cases of internet crime that are brought to them.
Jerry Fishenden, National Technology Officer for Microsoft UK pointed out that reporting cyber crime is extremely difficult and the public are confused as to how they should go about it. He said:
"We believe it is necessary to have as easy a reporting mechanism as possible so that when people are victims of cyber-crime or attempted cyber-crime there is a streamlined reporting structure and ideally one body with responsibility for receiving those complaints and having appropriate resources to investigate and potentially initiate prosecutions where appropriate.
"My understanding is that the United States does have a single point of reporting established by the FBI back in the late 1990s, the Internet Crime Complaints Centre, which takes some 10,000 plus complaints a year and has the authority and resources to actually look into those complaints..Establishing that type of scheme, as happened in the States, would also enable us to get a much better grip on the scale of the problem in the UK.