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Wake Up To Cybercrime, DPP Tells Prosecutors

The UK's Director of Public Prosecutions, David Calvert-Smith, Friday told prosecutors and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that they must increase their awareness of "cybercrime," particularly criminal activity on the Internet.

The DPP was speaking at the first CPS conference on computer crime, organised jointly with the Computer Related Crime Research Centre at Queen Mary and Westfield College in London.

"Use of the Internet in many types of crime is becoming more and more common and presents a new challenge to law enforcement," said Calvert-Smith. "While the CPS has successfully prosecuted a number of cases, especially in the area of child pornography, we still have much to learn and must make use of the best available expertise."

The international group of experts gathered at the conference gave CPS staff the opportunity of learning more about the global phenomenon of high-tech crime. Around 120 delegates attended the event.

Calvert-Smith spoke of the ways in which the Internet has revolutionised communications, calling cyberspace "an unregulated, complex and some would say anarchic environment which does not recognise international boundaries."

"The jurisdictional difficulties and the anonymity the Internet offers provide unprecedented opportunities for the cyber criminal," said Calvert-Smith. "It is not only used for conventional crimes such as fraud, drug-dealing and the possession of child pornography, but for organised crime, terrorism and money laundering."

Calvert-Smith also pointed to emerging forms of crime such as online harassment, cyberstalking and hacking.

Conference organiser and CPS lawyer Baljit Ubhey said that the CPS had raised its profile recently in the area of high-tech crime. The conference, she said, would help share best practice and spread knowledge about prosecuting cybercrime more effectively.