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Electronic Crime Needs Assessment for State and Local Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2001
57 pages
Publication Series
This report presents findings and discusses the implications of a study initiated in the fall of 1998 by the National Institute of Justice to assess the needs of State and local law enforcement agencies to address computer-related crime and cyberterrorism.
The study also aimed to aid understanding of several aspects of electronic crime, including the most prevalent targets, offenders, and motives. The 26 individuals from 114 agencies who took part in the study focused on 6 topics. These included: (1) State and local perspectives on electronic crime; (2) types of electronic crimes and investigation needs; (3) system vulnerability, critical infrastructure, and cyberterrorism; (4) forensic evidence collection and analysis; (5) legal issues and prosecution; and (6) training. Results revealed 10 crucial needs and issues that require attention to keep pace with the rapid escalation of computer crime. These include public awareness of the incidence and impact of electronic crime, more comprehensive data, and uniform training and certification for law enforcement officers and forensic scientists. An additional critical need is for onsite management assistance to State and local law enforcement agencies in developing computer investigation units, creating collaborative computer forensics capabilities, organizing task forces, and establishing programs with private industry. Further needs are for updated laws and regulations, increased cooperation between the high-tech industry and government, a comprehensive directory of training and other resources, and management awareness and support for an investigative capability for electronic crime. Other needs include up-to-date technological tools and equipment for State and local law enforcement agencies to conduct electronic crime investigations and new research to determine the crucial staffing requirement issues for computer crime units. The analysis concluded that both immediate action and future study are essential. Figures, chapter reference notes, appended glossary, list of participating agencies, and contact information

Date Published: March 1, 2001