New statistics show more than seven million incidents occur on a yearly basis

Cybercrime represents mounting problem for UK police

A senior police officer has admitted that cybercrime is presenting a growing challenge to UK law enforcement agencies.

Jeff Farrar, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for crime recording and statistics, made the comments following the publication of the Crime Survey of England and Wales, which has started including cybercrime for the first time.

The new data showed that more than seven million fraud and cybercrimes are being committed every year.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said preliminary research indicated there were 5.1 million incidents of fraud, with 3.8 million adult victims in England and Wales in the 12 months prior to being interviewed between May and August.

In addition, there were an estimated 2.5 million incidents of cybercrime falling under the Computer Misuse Act.

Farrar said: "The ONS field trial between May and August on experiences of fraud and cybercrime demonstrates how use of new technology and the internet is changing the nature of crime in the UK.

"Cybercrime exemplifies how the demands on the police service are both changing and increasing at a time when budgets continue to be placed under significant pressure."

Despite the warning, it was noted that the overall crime rate shows that incidents are falling as well as the gap between the study and the prudency of police to properly record offences.

Victim reporting of sexual offences has also increased and further action has been taken to tackle fraud through the Action Fraud reporting centre.

However, Steve White, chairman of The Police Federation of England and Wales, warned "total crime" will continue to increase without "long-term commitment to sustainable police budgets".

"Every violent or sexual offence has its victim, often traumatised, with each grieving person far more than a statistic, but without long-term commitment to sustainable police budgets, total crime will simply go on rising.

"The public deserve better and we are asking for the resources we need, to provide the service they deserve."

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