A specialist police squad is being established to help businesses in the City of London tackle data theft.

The new police squad will join two others in the City, which will focus on helping businesses fight threats ranging from data theft to terrorism, it is understood. All three squads will begin operation next month.

In September, the Police Central E-crime Unit finally received the go-ahead from the government, with £3.5 million of Treasury funding alongside £3.9 million from the Metropolitan Police. Detective Superintendent Charlie McMurdie, one of the heads of the PCeU, has told CIO UK sister title Computerworld UK that the success of the unit in tackling data theft and other computer-related crime depends on collaboration with business.

It is hoped that other police forces will follow the model of the new specialist squads in the City, in order to help businesses tackle crime, the Financial Times reported.

Mike Bowron, City of London police commissioner, told the newspaper: “There is no reason why, if this works, you couldn’t pick it up and apply it to a petrochemical plant in Cleveland, a call centre in Strathclyde or a shopping complex in Manchester.”

Each squad will be small in size, but feature five highly trained officers with an expertise in tackling different types of crime. One of the areas of expertise will be advising businesses how to deal with the consequences of data theft, which can include customer information misuse by an unauthorised party, physical security breaches and even terrorist threats.

The squads will operate out of the City, London’s original financial district, as well as near London Bridge and Victoria railway stations. The City of London Police could not give further information at the time of writing.