London cyber crime court opened as experts warn of increased threat

You don’t have to be an expert to realise cyber crime is on the up. A host of malware, ransomware and high-profile hacks has pushed the seriousness into the public consciousness. In order to tackle the growing threat, the City of London has updated its court system with an 18 courtroom building in Fleet Street which is largely dedicated to tackling cyber crime and financial fraud.

It comes as the head of the intelligence monitoring service GCHQ has said that keeping the UK safe from cyber-attacks is now as important as fighting terrorism. Jeremy Fleming said increased funding for GCHQ was being spent on making it a ‘cyber-organisation’ as much as an intelligence and counter-terrorism one. He said: "We see that in the way terrorists are constantly changing their weapons, or states are using their full range of tools to steal secrets, gain influence and attack our economy".

The new court centre will replace all of the City’s current court services except from the Old Bailey. Justice minister Dominic Raab said it will be a ‘terrific advert for post-Brexit Britain’.

Justice minister Dominic Raab said: “This new flagship court will build on UK legal services’ unique comparative advantage, by leading the drive to tackle fraud and crack down on cyber-crime. By reinforcing the City’s world-leading reputation as the number one place to do business and resolve disputes, it’s a terrific advert for post-Brexit Britain.”

HM Courts and Tribunals Service said the new centre will be equipped with ‘21st century technology’ and is part of a six-year project to digitise many of its services.

Fleming said there had been nearly 600 ‘significant’ cyber-attacks needing a national response in the last year. Last week, NCSC head Ciaran Martin said 1,131 cyber-attacks were reported in the centre’s first year. Of those, 590 were classed as significant and more than 30 were assessed as serious enough to require a cross-government response.

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