The general director of the Civil Guard presents the Cybercrime Prevention and Response Teams in Córdoba
María Gámez has highlighted that currently 1 out of 8 crimes committed in the demarcation of the Civil Guard are related to the internet
84 Teams @ are launched throughout Spain made up of more than 300 agents
These teams are part of the Strategic Plan against cybercrime of the Ministry of the Interior created to prevent, protect and prosecute cybercrime, and thus guarantee the security and protection of the rights and freedoms of users in cyberspace.
The general director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez, presented the Cybercrime Advisory, Prevention and Response Teams @ in Córdoba this morning.
These are functional teams in charge of strengthening the response to cybercrime, in particular to online scams. Likewise, they constitute the first level of specific response to cybercrime, supporting territorial units that are oriented towards citizens, carrying out a first treatment of this type of crimes, supporting the specific Judicial Police through the analysis of cybercrimes, and promoting quality dialogue with victims.
The general director stressed that the Civil Guard starts up these teams for the first time and that they will be operational from today throughout the national territory because until now there were, on the one hand, highly specialized teams dedicated to more serious crimes and on the other, with citizen security units in charge of that first response. Now with these teams we cover that leap between one and the other.
María Gámez, has highlighted that cybercrime has been increasing significantly in the last 5 years and more since the beginning of the health crisis due to Covid-19. The explanation is clear: the use of the Internet has experienced a boom due to confinement measures and the network has been used more for administrative procedures, commercial transactions and social and personal relationships.
He has also said that this increased use of the internet has been accompanied by a rise in alleged crimes related to information and communication technologies, as shown by the data offered a few days ago by the Ministry of the Interior in 2020, where they grew 32% compared to the previous year.
In this sense, María Gámez has focused on the statistics on the Civil Guard demarcation during the last five years.
Between 2016 and 2020, Civil Guard units have registered an increase of about 139% in the number of cybercrimes. 5 years ago, cybercrime accounted for 4.5% of crimes. In 2020, this type of crime already represented 11.9%, and in the first half of 2021, it accounted for 13.65% of total crime (33,264 crimes in the first six months of this year, with more significant increases the first 4 months; they represent 41.35% more than in 2020). In other words: Currently, 1 in 8 crimes committed in the Civil Guard area are related to the Internet, while five years ago, that proportion was 1 in 20, the general director highlighted.
María Gámez has highlighted that crime through the network is heterogeneous: crimes against honor, against industrial and intellectual property, threats and coercion, against sexual freedom, and among all of them, the most common crime is computer fraud, which it accounts for almost 80% of the total of allegedly criminal acts.
Regarding the profile of the cybercriminal, María Gámez has said that he is a man (73% of those arrested or investigated), between 26 and 40 years old, Spanish nationality and allegedly involved in the commission of computer fraud, threats and coercion and crimes sexual.
To fight against this phenomenon, the Civil Guard has created the Equipo @. There are 84 teams formed for this task throughout the country, with the incorporation of 304 men and women civil guards who will guide their work to combat cybercrime. As the General Director has indicated, each of our Commanderies has one of these groups, and depending on the industrial fabric, demographic level and services of the territories, in some provinces a broader deployment has been established that also affects some Companies. In Córdoba, for example, there is 1 team @ with 5 agents; in Andalusia, 9 teams (1 per province, and commanders from Cádiz and Algeciras) with 51 troops.
These groups represent the first level of specific response to cybercrime, supporting territorial units and the Judicial Police and promoting quality dialogue with victims. "We want to have the ability to dedicate ourselves to solving a computer crime worth millions of euros suffered by a company, but we also want to serve an individual who has been swindled with 500 euros, for example," said María Gámez.
These 84 territorial @ Teams located in the Commanderies work in technical coordination with the National @ Team, which in turn is framed within the structure of the Judicial Police Headquarters. They will take care of:
- Strengthen the Corps' response to cybercrime, in particular to online scams, which are one of the main problems in this area.
- Receive those cybercrime complaints that, due to their degree of complexity, require a specific intervention, in addition to preparing the reports that are established and supervising the quality of the recording of the complaints received.
- Ensure care for victims and injured parties of cybercrime.
- Offer advice and provide specific attention to citizens and companies on everything related to cybercrime, specifically with online scams.
- Advise and guide the members of the Corps of the territorial units that receive complaints about cybercrime, especially online scams.
- Generate a deployment of units, the Teams @ that favors early knowledge of the cybercrimes that are committed in the territory, that multiplies the capacities of investigation and attention to the victims.
- Carry out basic investigations related to cybercrime in accordance with the provisions of the Judicial Police Action Plan of each Command, bringing the most complex investigations to specialized teams.