Cyber criminals are ‘serious threat to global economies’ say Irish Lord Mayor of London

Cyber criminals are ‘serious threat to global economies’ say Irish Lord Mayor of London

CYBER criminals are putting the global economy at risk – which needs a joined-up approach to solve the problem, the Lord Mayor of the City of London has warned.

Speaking at a City Forum Economic Crime Summit this month, the Lord Mayor, Professor Michael Mainelli, who is of Irish, Italian and US descent, claims the capital needs to “modernise” in order to “keep pace with the criminals we are up against”.

“Financial crime is increasingly recognised as a national security threat and addressing it is essential for a prosperous economy,” he said.

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Michael Mainelli

“These cyber-space-invaders are there to take a ride on the back of the latest innovation – especially the many opportunities offered by Artificial Intelligence,” he explained, adding “but tackling this problem is about so much more, because fraud is never a victimless crime, behind the statistics are ruined lives, mental anguish, and the erosion of the trust that allows society to function”.

Alderman Mainelli went on to outline the part the City of London Police is playing in “the fightback” by working closely with other local police forces and with national agencies.

“Since the City Police became the National Lead Force for fraud, they have demonstrated a unique combination of expertise, innovation, and the ability to foster industry relationships,” he said.

“I believe collaboration is key – not just here, but around the world,” he added.

“Because the reality we face is that fraud and economic crime is a global problem. “Global in scope, global in the reach of criminal gangs, global in the means by which fraud and scams are committed.

“This is not a harm that any of us should, or could, face alone.

“The criminals do not respect national boundaries, so our responses need to cross national boundaries.”

Alderman Mainelli became 695th Lord Mayor of the City of London in November 2023.

The father-of-three is the third consecutive Irish Lord Mayor of London, following previous Lord Mayor Nicholas Lyons’ term and that of Vincent Keaveny, who was the first Irishman ever to hold the role when he became the 693rd Lord Mayor in 2021.