Bedfordshire Police wins World Policing Award for cracking Sony case

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Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst and Op Polarity winners
Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst and Op Polarity winners

Bedfordshire Police’s Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) has beaten over 100 entries from across the globe, and picked up a prestigious award at the World Policing Awards.

Over three years, the team worked with the National Crime Agency, the FBI and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) during ‘Operation Polarity’, an investigation into a cyber-attack on Sony.

Bedfordshire Police are the lead force for the Eastern Region Specialist Operation Unit.

Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said: “It was a pleasure to attend the first World Class Policing Awards, and I am extremely proud of the work that went into the investigation that has resulted in this award.

“The awards evening has shown that there is incredible work going on all over the world to protect members of the public and continue to fight crime.

“I would like to thank everyone who was part of the Op Polarity investigation for their hard work during the investigation.”

Sony and its PlayStation network suffered outages during the cyber-attack in 2014.

The cybercrime tool unearthed as part of the case was revealed to have over 100,000 users and was responsible for 1.7million denial of service attacks worldwide.

PayPal accounts, linked to the offender with an estimated $400,000 of laundered proceeds, were also discovered.

The team seized 10 TB of data, the equivalent of 50 million pages of A4, with ERSOU working to to get this data into a format that would meet Crown Prosecution disclosure requirements.

Assistant Chief Constable Dan Vajzovic, lead for the Eastern Region Specialist Operations Unit said: “This is an incredible award to receive for Operation Polarity, this was a long and intense investigation with a great result.

“I am so proud to lead ERSOU, and this award shows the world class work of our officers.”

The awards last week (14 November) celebrated and acknowledged the best in all aspects of 21st century policing and reflect that effective modern day policing requires partnership and collaboration.