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The head of the computer security branch of Blighty's new National Crime Agency has said British laws need to be improved in order to combat today's online criminals.

Andy Archibald, head of the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) told The Register that he didn't want to go into details, but there were areas of legislation the team was looking at.

"There are improvements that could be done," he said. "But what I would say first of all is that we need to be confident that we're making the best use of current legislation.

"If we are and we still consider that there are gaps, we will discuss that with government."

The NCCU is part of what's being cheekily referred to as Britain's FBI, a new national police force called the National Crime Agency (NCA) that is replacing the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The NCCU will operate under the NCA umbrella and brings together the Police Central e-Crime Unit from the Metropolitan Police as well as the cyber element of SOCA.

The NCCU will run alongside four operational commands within the NCA - Organised Crime, Border Policing, Economic Crime and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

It's not the first time Britain's computer crime forces have been reshuffled as the country comes to grips with tackling computer crime across economic and political borders.

"The challenge is the international dimension," Archibald admitted. "The vast majority of those we're really interested in are overseas and often they're in hard to reach jurisdictions. So international collaboration, international relationships with trusted partners are key to our success."

Archibald previously worked for SOCA and has been around for three different reorganisations of how the UK confronts electronic wrongdoing, but he said that this reshuffle is different because the NCA has the power to lead on investigations.

"The creation of the NCA is a landmark in law enforcement in the UK," he claimed. "It's the first time ever that a national organisation has had a mandate and a legitimacy to lead, and coordinate and support, law enforcement and the key word there of course is lead."

Although the new agency only became fully operational last week, Archibald said the cyber unit already had its eye on the top criminal rings it wanted to take down - though he wouldn't share details of the gangs with The Reg.

"We do have targets and we do have operations against them," he said, adding that they were all international operations they were working on with other law enforcement agencies. ®

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