Up until now, reporting e-crime has been quite a complicated matter. We have previously reported that local police normally don't have enough knowledge about how to deal with crimes committed online, and that cases are often passed on between departments - this may now be about to change.

British IT security experts are currently designing a web portal which will gather detailed information and statistics on EU citizens that have fallen victims of crime on the internet. The aim is to collect as much correct information about crimes committed as possible for future reference.

The web portal will be part of Victims of Internet Crime Europe (VOICE), a bid to raise awareness on computer-related crime and encourage more victims of e-crime to come forward, according to Hamid Jahankhani, principal lecturer of computing and business information systems at the University of East London (UEL).

Security experts all agree that e-crime is increasing. But gathering information and statistics is difficult since victims often don't know where to turn to report the crime, according to David Lilburn Watson, a forensic security expert at Forensic Computing .

Europe has so far lacked a dedicated place to report incidents of e-crime. In the US, victims of internet crime can report problems to Internet Fraud Watch and the Internet Crime Complaint Centre .

Watson and Jahankhani hope that the web portal will serve as a collective point for gathering data on e-crime all over the EU. Experts would be able to use data mining to identify trends and common denominators to support the work of the police.

Victims will be able to use the web portal to leave information on various e-crime activity, from inappropriate images to ID fraud to online scams and hacking attacks, Watson said. Victims can be anonymous if they wish, he added.

Non-profit group VOICE intends to approach the EU for funding for the project, which was announced at the Third Annual International Conference on Global E-security at UEL earlier this week. There was no information as to when the VOICE web portal will go live.