In a pilot program, the City of London police are hiring private law firms to challenge cybercriminals in civil rather than criminal court.
The purpose of the program is to help police tackle money fraud faster by seizing a suspect's assets in civil court to repay victims faster, according to The Guardian. Normally, even if a victim is convicted of a crime, there is lengthy process, taking possibly years, to seize the proceeds and police believe suspects may use this time to hide their assets.
Another benefit in using civil court is the burden of proof is lower only having to show the suspect stole the money on a balance of probabilities as opposed to proving their case beyond reasonable doubt as in criminal cases, the publication said.
The program isn't without criticism. Some legal experts fear the program could create a conflict between profit motives and fairness of the process, the publication said.