The City of London Police will start a new task force where police will receive specialist training on investigating cryptocurrency related crimes. Local news source made the announcement earlier this week and is looked to be the first of its kind in the UK. With growing cryptocurrency theft and money laundering becoming a new-age crime, a spokesperson from the City of London Police announced the new training initiative to be included in the Economic Crime Academy.
Training will include teaching officers to detect, seize, and investigate the use of cryptocurrencies involved in cyber or financial crimes.
It is designed to provide delegates with the skills and knowledge required to recognise and manage cryptocurrencies in an investigation. It will be the first of its kind and has been developed in response to feedback from police officers nationally who felt there wasn’t enough training available in this area.
Crimes where cryptocurrencies are used to launder money in Europe are reported to only make up 4% of illicit cash crimes, but concerns are growing as cyber crimes have increased over the past few years. London Metropolitan Police have stated it has become common practice to check smart phones after arresting criminals involved in cyber crimes cases in search of cryptocurrency wallets. When cryptocurrencies that have been involved in illegal activities are seized, they are distributed for the public good under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Training has already begun at the academy with another training course scheduled for August this year. The City of London Police have also been name as the National Lead Force for Fraud and will take on the responsibility to share strategies and best practices with other departments in the country. Every year Europol arranges the Virtual Currencies Conference, a closed-to-the-public meeting where crypto experts and police can meet and discuss tactics on how to resolve new-age criminal activites..
In addition to the training, the City of London Corporation has said they will create a new high tech court that will be designed to handle cyber crimes.