Fears that the growth of cryptocurrencies are opening up further opportunities for criminals to launder money have led to the establishment of a new training programme by the City of London Police.
Describing it as a “first of its kind”, a spokesperson for City of London Police confirmed the addition of a cryptocurrency course at their Economic Crime Academy in response to officer’s concerns that they are ill prepared to cope with the new technology.
“It is designed to provide delegates with the skills and knowledge required to recognise and manage cryptocurrencies in an investigation.”
On successful completion of this course, participants will understand how to detect, seize and investigate the use of cryptocurrencies in an investigative context.
“It will be the first of its kind and has been developed in response to feedback from police officers nationally who felt there wasn’t enough training available in this area,” she said, adding a pilot of the programme has already been undertaken, with another to take place in August.
Given its role in enforcing law and order in the heart of the world’s pre-eminent financial centre, the City of London Police has been designated the National Lead Force for Fraud.
In this capacity it has a responsibility to share best particle on tackling fraud with other forces around the UK.
Once the second pilot scheme has been completed, City of London Police aim to roll out the cryptocurrency course nationwide during the autumn.
Earlier this year the head of Europol warned criminals could be laundering up to £4bn via cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, in Europe.
The announcement of specialist police training in tackling cryptocurrency comes shortly after City of London Corporation stated its intention to develop a new “cyber court” specifically designed to tackle cybercrime, fraud, and economic crime.
The new flagship 18 courtroom legal centre is to be built on the site of Fleetbank House, on the edge of The City.