Needs Assessment of Cybercrime and Digital Evidence in a UK Police Force

Z. Schreuders, Cliffe, Cockcroft, Tom orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7249-7285, Butterfield, Emlyn, John, Elliott, Ahmad Ryad, Soobhany and Mohammad, Shan-A-Khuda (2020) Needs Assessment of Cybercrime and Digital Evidence in a UK Police Force. International Journal of Cyber Criminology – ISS, 14 (1). pp. 316-340. ISSN 0974–2891

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Cybercrime has recently surpassed, in terms of volume, all other forms of crime in the United Kingdom, and has been acknowledged as a national priority. The purpose of this research is to analyse the police cyber-investigation lifecycle: from the experience of the public when reporting cybercrime to call takers, through to the attending officers, officer(s) in charge, and the many units and roles involved in supporting cybercrime investigations. A large scale needs assessment was conducted within one of the largest police forces in England and Wales, involving focus groups and interviews with police staff and strategic leads across key units and roles. The results of the needs assessment document the state of policing cybercrime in a UK police force, along with the improvements and needs that exist across the force and in specific units and roles. In total, 125 needs were identified and further coded based on a thematic analysis. Common themes identified include: knowledge/training, communication, recording, software, roles, governance, procedures, resources, consistency, staffing, national input, face-to-face, interactions with the public, new capabilities, and triage. The most common needs were related to training and knowledge, communications, quality of recording, software, governance, procedures, resourcing, and national input. Due to the nature of the findings, it is likely that some of these identified areas may parallel other police organisations’ experiences at national and international levels.

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