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Cyber cop unit to fight Internet crime
LONDON, England (CNN) -- A hi-tech crime unit is to be set up next year to help British police combat computer crime.
British Home Secretary Jack Straw said $35 million (£25 million) would be allocated to setting up the national crime unit.
The Internet squad would liaise with local UK forces and overseas police in the cross-border battle against computer-based crooks.
"The crimes concerned cover a wide spectrum from hacking and financial fraud to obscenity and the unlawful activities of paedophiles," Straw said.
Police have to be equipped to carry out forensic examination of computer systems, he said.
Project manager Mark Castell said the scale of cybercrime will only be grasped once the team starts work.
The latest figures showed 19 million people were online in the UK in September of this year, but across the world the figure was 378 million.
Castell said as many as 60 percent of Britain's online businesses have already been hacked.
Criminals were now using the latest technology such as hand-held computers to carry out their criminal activities, making it difficult for police to trace them, Castell said.
Tactics to trap paedophiles will include undercover police lying in 'virtual' wait in Internet chat rooms and attempting to make contact with criminals.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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