NHTCU – the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit
1. The NHTCU
was launched in April 2001
2. It targets serious crime with a hi-tech element
3. It's an agency led by the National Crime Squad
4. It works closely with the UK technology industry
5. It recovered over 3 terabytes of evidence in 2001
What is the NHTCU?
Hi-tech crime has become a rapidly growing concern for the crime fighters in recent years. Computers and the internet provide great benefits to society, but knowledgable criminals can exploit these technological tools as an aid to commit crimes. To counteract this kind of crime the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) was developed within the National Crime Squad.
The NHTCU works to combat national and transnational serious and organised hi-tech crime both within, or which impacts upon, the UK. It's the first national law enforcement organisation of its kind to tackle a specific area of crime. Crimes targeted include software piracy, hacking and virus attacks, fraud, blackmail and extortion, on-line paedophilia, and identity theft.
How does it fight crime?
The NHTCU was set up as part of the national hi-tech crime strategy announced by the home secretary to Parliament in November 2000. This strategy was drawn up in response to the identification of significant gaps in investigative capability at local and national level.
The NHTCU recruits investigative officers, forensic experts, computer consultants, and support staff from the National Crime Squad, NCIS, HM Customs and Excise and other law enforcement agencies. Their headquarters are in London, and the unit is comprised of four sections: Investigations, Intelligence, Tactical and Technical Support and Digital Evidence Recovery.
The Service Authority sets objectives for the NHTCU and agrees on performance targets in consultation with the Director General of the National Crime Squad. The Service Authority is comprised of 11 members, eight of whom are also members of the Service Authority for the NCIS. The Head of the NHTCU, accountable to the Director General of the National Crime Squad, is responsible for the day to day running of the Unit.
There's also a special unit that looks into West African fraud. Many people receiving emails from Africa asking them for money. Some people have lost thousands of pounds. The NHTCU say that you should delete these emails, or forward them on to your ISP. You should not reply to them, no matter how tempting the money is.
What's the history?
The NHTCU was launched in April 2001 and is part of the National Crime Squad. Since October 2001, the NHTCU has been involved in over 10 operations and arrested 30 people involved in serious and organised hi-tech crime. This has resulted in over three terabytes of evidence being recovered - which if printed off onto A4 paper in 12-point script would stand 30 miles tall.
The NHTCU has also played a part in Operation Ore, the UK's largest ever police hunt against internet paedophiles which has resulted in about 1,300 arrests out of a list of 6,000 suspects.
PO Box 10101
London E14 9NF
Official NHTCU website Till 10/5/06 was this:
The National Hi Tech Crime Unit has become part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency
NHTCU Notice in the unit website 10/5/06
The National Hi Tech Crime Unit has now become part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. As a result the NHTCU is no longer providing individual responses to enquiries either via this web site or direct email contacts.
If you are a member of the public wishing to report a crime or criminal attempt, please contact your local police force within your country of residence. Details of UK police force contacts can be found at
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