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London police and industry are teaming up to fight economic crime. The inaugural meeting of the New Scotland Yard Economic Crime Working Group took place at Lord's Cricket ground in London on Thursday.

The Economic Crime Working Group, announced at the Commonwealth Technology Forum in July, will address areas such as cyber crime, data and identity theft, counterfeiting and intellectual property rights as well as money laundering. The group has been put together with the assitance of the Commonwealth Business Council. In particular, it will focus on international crime and reputation risk.

The initial meeting included British government representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department of Trade and Industry. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines sent diplomatic officials, along with the Indian National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM). Clearing organisation APACS, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit and City of London Police were also represented.

The high powered meeting also featured representatives from industry (including McAfee, White Hat, KPMG and Capgemini) and banks including Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC and Abbey.

The working group is designed to increase awareness in the business community of cybercrime risks and provide advice to policy makers. It is also designed to provide a fourm for the sharing of best practices in fighting cybercrime.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said: "Economic crime has to be treated as a global issue and so this unprecedented partnership with the CBC will allow us to pool intelligence from across many regions. It is important to note that this initiative will include those private sector organisations most at risk - particularly the SME sector - in addition to international law enforcement agencies and governments all working in partnership toward a common goal."

Director General of the CBC, Dr Mohan Kaul added that cyber-criminals can only be beaten by working within a "multi-stakeholder and multi-jurisdictional framework, engaging the private sector across the 53-nation Commonwealth region, and beyond."

Dr Linda Spedding, international lawyer and chair of the working group, added: "This is a very different initiative that is focused on marshalling a number of international resources into measures that should directly reduce operational and reputational risk for companies in the sectors that are subject to these forms of crime." ®

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