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Internet: Crime

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she has issued to police forces on the establishment of courts to deal with e-crime. (188917)

The UK prosecutes on the basis of the offence committed, rather than the medium used. These is no offence of ‘e-crime’ but there are serious crimes committed by means of computers.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Organised Crime Division (OCD) prosecutes cases which are investigated by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The CPS is finalising a protocol with Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) which will be issued by the Senior Presiding Judge. This protocol will provide for Designated Court Centres (DCC) for SOCA cases which are prosecuted by OCD. This will be an effective way to manage the prosecution of these cases which are typically multi handed, voluminous and raise complex and specialist issues of law. The process of designating court centres will take into account geographical factors and the size, security and facilities at court centres. The DCC, coupled with consistent judicial oversight of the management of these cases will help to ensure that justice is delivered swiftly and effectively without undue delay.

The protocol will apply to all SOCA cases that are prosecuted by OCD including cases involving e-crime.