HER MAJESTY'S Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said that there are only three police forces in the UK that could fight their way out of a serious cybercrime assault, leaving forty in the digital slough of cyber incompetence.
Just Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and the West Midlands have the capabilities to cope with an attack, leaving the other 40 forces scratching their heads and looking useless.
While the police forces fancy themselves as the guardians of the online world, they actually are very lacking, said HMIC, and just two percent of woodentops have taken available courses and are considered cybercrime savvy.
The strategic policing requirement (SPR) has shaken up HMIC (PDF), and it said that while forces know that the SPR is a thing, not many know what to do with or about it and its areas of focus. One of those areas is cybercrime, which is something of a mystery to UK police forces as a whole.
"We expected to find police forces had sought to understand the threat and their role in tackling it. But HMIC found that only three forces had developed comprehensive cybercrime strategies or plans," it said in its report. "Senior leaders across police forces were unsure of what constituted a large scale cyber incident."
According to HMIC this shows that the police service has not come to terms with the SPR and as such has left its forces struggling to meet its ends. If just two percent of law enforcement has had any cyber training, this loose grasp of the SPR could be the least of its worries.
"Our inspection found that a lack of a clearly articulated approach to the SPR by the collective leadership of the police service has contributed to unnecessary variations in the capacity and capability of forces to respond," added Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, Stephen Otter.
"HMIC makes a number of recommendations; one being for chief constables to immediately establish a collective leadership approach that is committed to securing the required level of preparedness to respond to the national threats - in a way that is consistent across England and Wales." µ