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The Police Central e-crime unit has claimed to have saved the UK economy over £140m in its first six months following a multi-million pound injection to fight cyber crime.

The organisation, which was set up in 2008, explained that the central e-crime unit has already achieved 30 per cent of its £504m harm reduction over the next four years.

This figure relates to the amount of money that that the UK has prevented from losing due to cyber crime follows a number of successful prosecutions.

"In the initial six month period the PCeU, together with its partners in industry and international law enforcement, has excelled in its efforts to meet this substantial commitment and have delivered in excess of £140m of financial harm reduction to the UK economy," said Janet Williams, ACPO eCrime lead for law enforcement.

"This initial result is only a small sample of the current investigations and interventions being conducted and whilst providing an investment to return ratio of £1: 35, the figure alone does not capture the other important benefits gleaned from the learning obtained from targeting the higher echelon of cyber criminals that we then share with our partners," added the PCeU's Detective Superintendent Charlie McMurdie.

There have been a number of significant global cyber crimes recently too. One of these includes the case Operation Pagode, which resulted in £84m of harm saved. Five defendants were jailed for a total of 16 years after an investigation found a group of online fraudsters who set up an online "criminal forum" which traded unlawfully obtained credit card details and tools to commit computer offences.

"There's still more to be done. Chatham House only reported last month that cyber crime could be costing the economy billions of pounds a year, so is the £30m of funding plugged into developing this e-crime unit really enough?" asked Paul Vlissidis, technical director at consultancy NGS Secure.

"It would be great to see this good work publicised and the unit recognised as a valuable investment that would benefit from more funding. Tangible savings are a much more positive way of publicising cyber security than data thefts."