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The police service in the UK needs to determine how extensive digital crime is in the country and assess the impact it has at a local and international level, according to a major new report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
Its paper, Real Lives, Real Crimes: A study of digital crime and policing, found that the service, as a whole, has been slow in implementing data collection systems to better grasp the nature of this new threat.
Without this information, police forces are unable to fully grasp the particular characteristics of digital crime, meaning their responses are not as effective as they could be.
“Such understanding allows forces to make sound, evidence-based decisions in relation to critical areas, such as operational structures, procurement, and learning and development,” the authors of the report explained.
“Understanding the way in which digital crime is committed also enables the police service to identify those who are most likely to be vulnerable to this form of crime.”
Further, HMIC recommended the widespread adoption of a flagging system. This data will help to paint a picture of the scale of this threat.
As for the impact of this threat, the study showed that the police service has a long way to go in comprehending the physical and emotional consequences of digital crime.
HMIC said that it advocates all forces to “look at the impact of digital crime in the round,” which is achievable through public surveys and consultations with businesses.
The wide-ranging paper also examined how forces are enhancing the knowledge and expertise of their officers with digital crime-related training; how they are dealing with the growing problem of online antisocial behavior; and how they are collaborating with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and Action Fraud.
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security