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Battle is all set to run and run.

A SENIOR North-east police officer says Teesside is mired in "a long-term battle" against cyber crime.

Alan Batey of the computer crime unit at Northumbria Police said sophisticated cyber hacking was likely to remain a threat well into the 21st century.

He says: "It will be a long haul. We won't stop it but we hope to help people understand how to combat it." His words come after another senior police officer admitted British forces are struggling to keep up with online crime.

Detective Superintendent John Mooney of the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) said police must work harder to persuade highly-intelligent computer and credit card crooks to reveal their shadowy methods.

And he claims jailed high-tech criminals could be a secret weapon against electronic fraudsters of the future.

"If a tactic was to get some of these people to sit down and explain their methods to us post conviction, I am quite sure that would help," he says.

"To look forward 10 years we also have to look back and ask some of these people, for example, how did you transform this credit card into a workable card? "The same thing happens now with some of the scanners put into bank machines.

We need to understand how criminals are doing these things."

His claims follow research which highlighted industry misgivings over Britain's policing of online fraud.

A report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that one third of small firms do not report fraud or online crime to the police or their banks because of a lack of faith in the system.

More than one half of respondents (53%) indicated they needed clearer information about how and where to report this type of crime, while 44% wanted a named contact in their local police force specifically focused on fraud and online crime.

The Government will tackle the cyber crisis by launching a series of regional e-crime hubs across the country..

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THREAT: Alan Batey, of the computer crime unit at Northumbria Police
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 30, 2009
Words:336
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