PSNI’s purpose built Cyber Crime Centre in South Belfast was officially opened today, Tuesday 18 June, by the Northern Ireland Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly OBE and Chief Constable Sir George Hamilton QPM.
The state-of-the-art centre provides a base for all digital forensic services across all of the PSNI. This can range from providing support to officers during a large scale investigation, for example, the fast recovery of a large volume of footage from mobile phones during a murder investigation to leading on complex, specialist cyber investigations on a global scale, for example, hacking of a large corporation’s database.
Speaking at the official opening, Chief Constable Sir George Hamilton said: “In the PSNI we are continually developing and expanding our cyber capabilities so that we can keep people safe from cyber crime and I am delighted to officially open this state-of-the-art facility today.
“Whilst technology develops at a rapid pace and transforms how we work, communicate and socialise, it also brings an increased risk as criminals seek to exploit the complexities of the web. The demand for cyber expertise within police services across the world continues to grow and Northern Ireland is no different. During the first half of this year so far, our Cyber Crime Centre has received the same number of requests for forensic examination of mobile devices as in the whole of last year.
“Our new state-of-the-art centre provides a base for all digital forensic services across all of the PSNI and demonstrates our commitment to tackling cyber crime. It is a hub for innovation and creativity, enabling us to investigate crime more efficiently and effectively and meet the growing demand on the service.
“This centre is just one investment that we have made to keep PSNI at the forefront of this rapidly evolving and growing crime type. We have developed the first mobile forensic lab, a concept that is now being adopted and implemented across the UK and we will continue to work closely with our national and international partners including those in the NCA and the FBI who are here today, to combat Cyber Crime and keep people safe.”
Northern Ireland Policing Board Chair, Anne Connolly said: “This new centre of excellence represents a significant investment in policing. As a Board we want our officers to have access to the facilities and technology that fully meet policing needs in day-to-day service delivery, both to the public and partner agencies. With increases in the area of online crime, this new centre ensures our officers are now very well equipped to deal with criminality in this area and provide a professional service.”