For this report, PERF stepped back and assessed the impact of computers and other technologies on the nature of crime itself, and on how technology is changing investigations. As part of PERF's Critical Issues in Policing series, PERF assembled nearly 200 experts in criminal investigations, technology, and police operations and management to explore these issues during a day-long conference in Washington, D.C. They learned about new types of computer-related crimes, and also about criminals’ use of technology to commit many old types of crime. For law enforcement agencies to keep up in this new environment, their approaches to criminal investigations must change. The reality is that the science of criminal investigations is changing rapidly, and many law enforcement agencies are not prepared for the changes that are taking place. This report is a wake-up call for the policing profession. If agencies are to be successful in combating crime in the 21st century, agencies must have the training, tools, and skilled personnel to understand the changing nature of crime and to be resourceful in investigating new types of crime.
Publication Date: January 2018