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Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate (a) the extent and (b) the cost to the UK economy of e-crime in each of the last five years. (76722)

We do not collect figures specifically on e-crime. However, the “DTI Information Security Breaches Survey”, published April 2006, found that 52 per cent. of businesses (84 per cent. of large businesses) suffered premeditated and malicious breaches in 2006, compared with 68 per cent. in 2004 and 44 per cent. in 2002. In assessing costs, the survey showed the average cost of all incidents, both criminal and non-criminal, rose from £10,000 in 2004 to £12,000 in 2006 and estimates the total cost of all incidents is of the order of £10 billion per year, up roughly 50 per cent. since 2004.

The 2003-04 “British Crime Survey”, published April 2006, showed that 27 per cent. (compared with 18 per cent. in 2002-03) of households with internet access reported their home computer had been affected by a computer virus and a third of those reported the virus had damaged their computer. 2 per cent. (in both 2002-03 and 2003-04) of households with internet access reported that someone had accessed or hacked into files on their home computer in the previous 12 months.

APACS, the UK payments association, estimate that internet fraud using UK plastic cards amounted to £117 million in both 2005 and 2004 and that losses from online banking fraud were £23.2 million in 2005, up from £12.2 million in 2004 (figures from the APACS “Fraud: The Facts 2006” publication, February 2006).

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken to process a Criminal Records Bureau check was in the last period for which figures are available. (77334)

I refer the hon. Member for Eastbourne to my written answer of 12 June 2006, Official Report, column 1025W.