Chapter 10: Conclusions

Please note: In July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Inspections carried out before July 2017 may continue to refer to HMIC.

Real lives, real crimes: A study of digital crime and policing

Chapter 10. Conclusions

10.1. The aim of this study has been to set out our views about the current preparedness of the police service to deal effectively with digital crime and its victims. This has not been an inspection in the traditional sense. We recognise that the speed of developments in this fast-moving and ever-increasingly technological era requires a different approach from HMIC.

10.2. Here, we have drawn together those areas of policing which, if put into effect, will enable the police, at all levels, to provide the best possible service to victims of digital crime. This will also help HMIC to identify those areas which will contribute to our annual all-force inspections.

10.3. The police service needs:

  • to establish the scale and impact of digital crime, at both the national and local level, and how to respond to it: paragraph 4.17
  • to create effective leadership, and governance arrangements and strategies at all levels to manage the threat that digital crime poses, engaging with all those inside the police service and in the private sector who are able to provide expertise: paragraph 8.28

10.4. And each chief constable needs:

  • to provide appropriate and continuing training and guidance for all those within his or her force who are likely to deal with digital crime and its victims:
    paragraph 5.56
  • to make sure that his or her officers and staff understand the significance of online anti-social behaviour, and that they are able to provide effective support and advice to those who are its victims: paragraph 6.19
  • to make sure that his or her force has the capability: to examine digital devices in the most appropriate, effective and speedy way possible; and to provide sufficient local capability to deal effectively with digital crime: paragraph 7.33 and
  • to appoint a chief officer to make sure that his or her staff understand which cases should be referred to Action Fraud and which require a more immediate response, and that referrals from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau are dealt with effectively: paragraph 9.66

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