Police force is one of few prepared for cyber attacks

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Lincolnshire police is one of only three forces prepared for a large-scale cyber attack.

A report, published yesterday by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, known as HMIC, examined how well police forces were prepared in the event of specific threats to national security and public safety.

Inspectors said they were “struck by how incomplete the police service’s understanding of the national threats was”, leading them to conclude that “much greater attention is necessary from many police leaders to understand this area more fully”.

Capabilities around cyber-crime were singled out, finding that only three out of 43 forces - Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and West Midlands - developed sufficient cyber-crime strategies.

In 2012 the Government set out in its Strategic Policing Requirement that police forces must be prepared for five areas of threat - terrorism, civil emergencies, organised crime, public order threats and large-scale cyber incidents.

Stephen Otter, from HMIC, said: “The capacity and capability of the police to respond to national threats is stronger in some areas than others - with the police response to the cyber threat being the least well developed.”

It follows the news that several technology firms are urging people to change their passwords, after it was found that a product used to safeguard data could be compromised to allow eavesdropping.