UK to lead e-crime prosecutor network

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UK to lead e-crime prosecutor network

Database of prosecutors, legal guidance and training to be available online.

A UK-led international network of specialist e-crime prosecutors will be set up by next year, attorney general Baroness Scotland has announced.

It will comprise a database of e-crime prosecutors and a forum for exchanging advice, and host e-crime material including a virtual training college and legal guidance.

“It is widely recognised that e-crime is the most rapidly expanding form of criminality and knows no borders," said Baroness Scotland. "Prosecutors play a very significant role in combating e-crime, and their advice at an early stage of police investigation can be fundamental to success."

The Global Prosecutors’ E-Crime Network (GPEN) has been developed by the high-tech crime unit of the UK Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS's) international division in conjunction with the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP).

E-crime cases have proved difficult to prosecute in the past because lawyers have had problems explaining technical issues to judges and juries.

The CPS is one of the first prosecuting authorities to develop e-crime-trained lawyers, setting up a national training strategy in 2002.

Some 120 specialist lawyers have been trained since then.

“We are delighted to kick-start this initiative because the network will enable prosecutors worldwide to join together to fight e-crime," said Esther George of the CPS high-tech crime unit.

"It is one example of the many far-sighted approaches the CPS deploys to stay one step ahead of the criminals both domestically and on the world stage.”

The Council of Europe, Eurojust, the USA, Australia and the Bahamas have all endorsed the project. Specialist prosecutors from individual countries will be urged to become involved in the network through their membership of the IAP.
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