Law enforcement has forever been in a cat-and-mouse game with the trends of crime at the time. As the nature of crime evolves, so too much the way that law enforcement does its work. Nowadays, crime is going more and more digital. What can local law enforcement agencies do to catch up with the modern digital criminal?
Promoting better digital practices
While law enforcement’s primary aim is to catch those who have committed crimes after the fact, they can also have large role to play in the prevention of cybercrime. One of the best ways to do this is to increase awareness of the nature of cybercrime and the different threats out there. Talking with businesses and community groups about the risks of hacking, viruses, data breaches, and more can help them all be more vigilant. Aside from taking steps to prevent crimes on an individual level, it also results in a community that’s able to sooner recognize and report the signs of digital crime.
Teaching digital skills
While the right tools can make a large difference, it is important to make sure that law enforcement training is evolving to understand the nature of changing threats. As such, digital forensics training for investigators can help ensure that more officers are able to approach digital crime from a more informed perspective rather than being caught unprepared for the kind of crimes they’re likely to face. Ongoing training across the whole team will make sure that a culture of digital preparedness is established.
Dealing with more data than ever before
As law enforcement agencies look more and more into the digital world, they are gathering more data that can help with investigations than before. However, getting valuable insights from such a large volume of data can be truly difficult. As such, they may need to make use of evidence software for law enforcement use. This can make it easier to compile evidence data from across systems into one place, where it’s much easier to manage and look over. By pulling together data from multiple sources, it can become much easier to complete the bigger picture in cases of digital crime.
The need for cooperation
There is an ongoing problem where internet service providers and digitally-based cooperations are far from enthusiastic about cooperating for law enforcement. There is a real debate about the moral responsibility to either safeguard or share user data in online sites and apps, even when it comes to matters of a criminal investigation. As such, it’s important that law enforcement agencies and departments do what they can to outreach with online service providers and build connections that allows for mutual trust to be established so that, in the event that their cooperation is needed, it’s much more likely to be given.
There’s no denying that catching digital criminals and preventing digital crimes is a lot trickier than it is in the physical world. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any tools that law enforcement agencies can use to keep up with the age of digital crime. The above examples show precisely that.