The British Computer Society (BCS) is offering advice to the police on how to tackle e-crime through a new group.

The Cybercrime Forensics Specialist Group (CFSG) has been set up following £3.5m in government funding allocated to create a specialist unit to tackle the problem. Recent research named Britain as the second largest source of cybercrime after the US, costing £6bn every year.

The BCS said its new group, which met for the first time today at Canterbury Christ Church University, would focus on scientific methods of gathering digital evidence for criminal investigations. It will also focus on legal issues and accrediting expert witnesses.

Visit Security Advisor for the latest internet threat news, FREE net threat email newsletters, and internet security products

It could play an important role in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics, the BCS said. The unit will work closely with the National Police Improvement Agency and will play a part in the annual Cybercrime Forensics Education and Training conference.

Members of the group include academic experts, those involved in law enforcement, as well as computer specialists and lawyers.

The CFSG aims to help develop standards for the recovery and analysis of information, and advise on the creation of laws, training and accreditation for those preparing criminal court case material. It will also offer to assess the quality of software tools used by police cybercrime forensic teams.

Denis Edgar-Nevill, the group's chairman, said: "The growing complexity and vulnerability of computer systems, coupled with ever-evolving forms of criminal activities, requires continual research and development to safeguard the integrity and security of systems for computer users".

See also: Home Office considers new e-crime unit