In an attempt to tackle money laundering, police in London are to get cryptocurrency training. Hailed as a “first of its kind”, the City of London Police have confirmed they are to introduce a course in cryptocurrency as part of their Economic Crime Academy.
The move is in response to an escalating fear that cryptocurrency is creating opportunities for cybercriminals to launder money and criticism and concern that police officers are not sufficiently prepared to deal with new digital currency technology.
A spokesperson for City of London Police said,
“It is designed to provide delegates with the skills and knowledge required to recognise and manage cryptocurrencies in an investigation. On successful completion of this course, participants will understand how to detect, seize and investigate the use of cryptocurrencies in an investigative context.”
She added that a pilot of the program has already been undertaken, with another to take place in August.
“It will be the first of its kind and has been developed in response to feedback from police officers nationally who felt there wasn’t enough training available in this area,”
The police cryptocurrency training comes in the wake of warnings made by Europol that criminals could be laundering as much as £4 billion in Europe through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This figure only represents around 4% of all illicitly trafficked cash, however.
The decision to launch the training in London seems a sound one given that the city is one of the most important financial centers on the planet. The City of London Police have also been named as the National Lead Force for Fraud. It will therefore be their responsibility to share best practice with other constabularies around the British Isles.
The announcement of the additional training for officers comes shortly after the City of London Corporation recent announcement of plans to develop a new “cyber court”, aimed at tackling cybercrime and fraud specifically.