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Journal cover: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management

ISSN: 1363-951X
Previously published as: Police Studies: Intnl Review of Police Development
Incorporates: American Journal of Police

Online from: 1997

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Examining perceptions of local law enforcement in the fight against crimes with a cyber component


Document Information:
Title:Examining perceptions of local law enforcement in the fight against crimes with a cyber component
Author(s):Justin T. Davis, (North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, Governor's Crime Commission, Criminal Justice Analysis Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Citation:Justin T. Davis, (2012) "Examining perceptions of local law enforcement in the fight against crimes with a cyber component", Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 35 Iss: 2, pp.272 - 284
Keywords:Computer crime, Investigation, Law enforcement, Perceptions, Police, Preparedness
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13639511211230039 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the perceived needs of local law enforcement investigating crimes characterized by a cyber component.

Design/methodology/approach – A total of 263 surveys were mailed to local law enforcement from across the state of North Carolina. Responses were received from 127 agencies – municipal police departments and county sheriffs' offices – comprising 71 of 100 North Carolina counties being represented.

Findings – Results indicate that local law enforcement continues to lack adequate training, personnel, and equipment to investigate crimes with a cyber component. Additionally, perceived levels of preparation and police agency size are positively related. Data also confirm a significant association between an agency's jurisdiction population size and the number of investigations for these crimes.

Research limitations/implications – In a snapshot manner, this study solely examines the perceived investigative needs of law enforcement in the state of North Carolina. Additional data is needed to determine not only the prevalence of computer-related crimes in other jurisdictions, but levels of preparedness. The lack of a universal definition of computer crime has implications on the data within as they are often estimated or perceived by respondents.

Practical implications – With numerous issues in need of attention, leadership from both government and law enforcement must begin to recognize the problems associated with computers and crime to effectively implement strategies that will enhance computer crime control.

Originality/value – This study is valuable as prior studies have largely been conducted at the national level and have predominantly discounted smaller agencies from their research. This research adds empirical evidence to the issue of law enforcement preparedness in investigating crimes with a cyber component.



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