The Metropolitan Police Service dispatched more than 4,000 staff to attend so-called "cyber" training courses over the past two years.
The e-learning course "Cyber Crime and Digital Policing – First Responder" was completed by 4,534 employees. Over half were student officers although three detective chief inspectors and four detective inspectors also attended.
Over the same period – 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 – 4,444 officers and staff logged on to the "Cyber Crime and Digital Policing: Introduction" course, again half of these were new recruits.
Freedom of Information figures obtained by Nimbus Hosting also found 5,804 officers and staff enrolled on the course: "Digital Communications, Social Media, Cyber Crime and Policing."
Campaigner Duwayne Brooks said: "Building a police force equipped with the latest digital skills is critical for improving community relations in the fight against crime. These new recruits are likely to come from more diverse backgrounds than their predecessors, possessing important insights and knowledge into local communities. By harnessing social media platforms and the latest technology, modern policing can tackle crime in close partnership with the wider public, winning the hearts and minds of young people and the disadvantaged."
The Met employs 42,000 officers and staff and sucks up 25 per cent of the total police budget for England and Wales.
Last month an Freedom of Information request to forces across England and Wales revealed that 237 officers and staff were disciplined for misusing police IT systems in the last two years. The Met disciplined 18 staff and one was sacked for misuse of the Crime Reporting Information System.
The London cops provided little insight into course content, although we'd like to have been a fly on the wall for the social media course. What do you lot reckon one of the first police forces to trial automatic facial recognition – and also, as of June this year, a new Microsoft cloudy Office 365 convert – should get to grips with first, "cyber" wise? ®