Policing cybercrime: emerging trends and future challenges

Authored by: Yvonne Jewkes , Majid Yar

Handbook of Policing

Print publication date:  August  2008
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9781843925002
eBook ISBN: 9780203118238
Adobe ISBN: 9781136308529


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This chapter examines some of the unique challenges facing the police in their attempts to tackle cybercrime. At the present time the Home Office does not compile statistics on cybercrime 1 and, in any case, figures on the precise scale and breakdown of computer-mediated crime are notoriously unreliable as they are invariably out of date by the time they are published. This chapter therefore steers clear of quantitative measurements and discusses some of the offences that – within a generally low-visibility category of crime that has no specific reference point in law – are (in the broadest sense) ‘policed’. It then explores the factors which impede effective policing of cybercrime (in the narrower sense of proactive law enforcement and intelligence gathering by the state-funded public police) and considers the particular case of child pornography and Operation Ore which, it argues, has paradoxically both accelerated and hampered the police's commitment to combating cybercrime. Finally, the chapter reflects on emerging trends and priorities in policing cybercrime and considers the challenges for the future.

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