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Volume 567: debated on Wednesday 4 September 2013

11. What steps he is taking to increase information-sharing between Government and businesses on cyber-attacks. (900037)

As part of our £860 million investment in the national cyber-security programme, earlier this year I launched the cyber information-sharing partnership. It provides a secure online and face-to-face environment for Government, law-enforcement agencies and business to share information on cyber-threats and how best to combat them. Already over 150 firms and other organisations have joined, and it is our intention to expand the membership to include SMEs.

I thank the Minister for that response. Given the important role that the police will play in helping small businesses tackle cybercrime, can the Minister tell us precisely how much of the £650 million cybercrime budget has been allocated to the police, and how much of it has been spent and on what?

I cannot give the hon. Lady the exact figures off the top of my head. Obviously a considerable amount is being spent with the law enforcement agencies to combat cybercrime, about which the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne Central (Chi Onwurah) was complaining earlier. This is a very wide-ranging problem. There is a huge issue about awareness in the business community and we are working hard to promote it.