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Masters Degree in Forensic Computing and Cybercrime Investigation at UCD on 6 September 2011.

Remarks of Commissioner Martin Callinan at the awarding of Masters Degree in Forensic Computing and Cybercrime Investigation at UCD on 6 September 2011.

Enter Text Here President UCD Mr. Hugh Brady, Professor Joe Carthy, Graduates, Distinguished Guests Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen.


Can I first of all say to the Graduates that I am delighted to be present here at your graduation. Today, you are among 28 law enforcement students from 16 EU Member States and Candidate countries who successfully graduate with a Masters Degree in Forensic Computing and Cybercrime Investigation from University College Dublin’s School of Computer Science and Informatics. This graduation ceremony is, in effect, the culmination of a three year European Commission funded project to further develop and deliver an international qualification for law enforcement officers to help in the fight against cybercrime.


Access to technology has increased exponentially in recent years, leading to countless benefits for us all but it also brings challenges for policing across Europe. Those people who commit crimes in our society frequently use computers, mobile phones and other technologies to assist them in their nefarious activities.


Attacks on computer systems of national Governments, critical infrastructure, business and members of the public are becoming more commonplace. In addition, as police forces investigate crime in all its forms, it is now standard practice to seize computer media in the search for vital evidence. The result is an increasing need for individuals in law enforcement who are trained in forensic computing and cybercrime investigation strategies and tactics. This Masters programme meets that need.


There is a requirement on all law enforcement agencies to be robust and fit for purpose. All EU law enforcement agencies need to have access to high quality forensic computing and cybercrime investigation training and formal education. The ability to tackle illegal use of the Internet and to understand emerging trends in cybercrime are now basic requirements for all modern police services.


Following ten years work, we now have an academically accredited cybercrime training programme which is fit for purpose. This programme has transcended international borders and has allowed for the harmonisation of training across Europe to deal with the practical and procedural issues posed by cybercrime.


Seven courses were accredited by the UCD Centre for Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigation. These training courses, available as modules as part of this ambitious MSc project, have also been made available free of charge to law enforcement agencies throughout the world. These were subsequently upgraded by members of the European Cybercrime Training and Education Group at Europol, UCD and An Garda Síochána, with some financial assistance from INTERPOL and Microsoft. (Microsoft Ireland CEO, Paul Rellis, will be in the audience.)


This unique project was successful in attracting partners who supported the concept of harmonised law enforcement cybercrime training within the EU’s borders.  In 2008 a total of 30 organisations from policing, industry and academia signed up as partners to this project. This was the greatest number of partners for any EU sponsored law enforcement project at that time. I would like to thank those partners, many of whom are here today.   


I am in no doubt that the project has fulfilled its aim to build capacity within the EU Member States to combat cybercrime across international borders.


I am personally proud to have been associated with this cybercrime training initiative since its inception in 2001.  This current project was led by An Garda Síochána and was managed by Detective Inspector Paul Gillen at the Garda Computer Crime Investigation Unit, Professor Joe Carthy at the UCD Centre for Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigation and a team of very dedicated staff.  I am personally very grateful for their hard work and dedication to this initiative. I would like to thank each member of the project team for their time, expertise and commitment in helping to make this project a success.


We, in An Garda Síochána and our financial partners, the National Police Improvement Agency, the North Rhine Westphalia Police and the EU Commission are excited about the success of this project.  We are very satisfied with the outcomes which, we anticipate, will be of great value to all EU law enforcement agencies.

I congratulate you, the graduates, on achieving this qualification.  I admire you for your hard work and dedication over the two year programme. You now rank among the most highly qualified law enforcement cybercrime investigators in Europe, if not in the world.


Your families should be very proud too, because without their support you would have found it difficult to achieve your goal. 


I wish you, the graduates every success in the future. I am confident that you have formed bonds that will benefit both you and crime investigation within Europe. I hope you will always now, on a professional and personal level, keep a little piece of Ireland in your heart from this experience. 


Finally, I have been given the very pleasant task of announcing and presenting the Gold Medal to the Student who has achieved the highest grade point average in the graduating class, Victor Völzow, from Germany, who is currently working as a Digital Forensics Analyst at the Police Academy in Hesse.


Thank you