A new centre to tackle cybercrime in the EU has been described as a "very much needed tool" to tackle online fraud and organised crime.
Launching the European Cybercrime Centre on 9 January 2013, Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said it would play a role in "safeguarding a free and open internet" whilst protecting citizens online.
She revealed that credit card fraud alone cost Europe 1.5bn during 2012, adding that online crime often went unreported and unsolved.
The centre, which will come under the remit of Europol, is designed to promote expertise and the sharing of information between EU countries on tackling cybercrime.
It will be based in The Hague and will tackle issues including online fraud and child abuse.
The head of the centre, Troels Oerting, admitted that the centre would not be fully functional until 2015, but insisted they were already dealing with hard evidence.
"We're not just unwrapping the hardware and software, we are dealing with real cases," he said.