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State and Local Law Enforcement Needs To Combat Electronic Crime, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Hollis Stambaugh; David Beaupre; David J. Icove; Richard Baker; Wayne Cassaday; Wayne P. Williams
Date Published
August 2000
6 pages
This paper summarizes a series of workshops with State and local law enforcement agencies nationwide to ascertain their needs in combating electronic crime.
For the purposes of the workshops, electronic crimes included a spectrum of offenses that ranged from fraud, theft, forgery, child pornography, cyberstalking, industrial espionage, and computer intrusions, as well as any other offenses that occur in an electronic environment. Cyberterrorism was also addressed in the workshops; this involves a premeditated, politically motivated attack against information systems with the intent to disrupt the political, social, or physical infrastructure of a target. State and local participants in the workshops provided researchers with a first-hand account of the technology tools required by law enforcement agencies to combat electronic crime. They also described the trends in cybercrime within their jurisdictions. On the basis of participants' statements, the workshops found that there is a near-term window of opportunity for law enforcement to gain a foothold in containing electronic crimes, which currently outpace most agency investigative resources. Further, most State and local law enforcement agencies report that they lack adequate training, equipment, and staff to meet their present and future needs to combat electronic crimes. The workshops concluded that greater awareness of electronic crime should be promoted for all stakeholders, including prosecutors, judges, academia, industry, and the general public.