Digital skills academies and “cyber bungalows” would go a long wayby Emilie Sundorph / August 23, 2017 / Leave a comment
The internet was never going to be simple to police. The Crown Prosecution Service highlighted the severity of digital crimes this week as it launched a new crackdown. As police forces grapple with this new frontline of crime, they will need the digital skills to cope.
Almost half of crime is committed online. People are now 20 times more likely to be victims of fraud than robbery, most of which is committed online. 30,000 cases of online harassment and stalking were recorded in the past year. Anonymous dark web browsers offer platforms for drug dealing and the sharing of “revenge pornography.”
Research published by Reform today reveals that many officers are “terrified” by this digital crime, feeling they lack the knowledge and skills to tackle it. Police forces must focus on fostering the skills needed to meet digital demand.
All 198,000 officers and staff in English and Welsh police forces need basic digital skills. Some officers have never used social media. Training apps, tested successfully by the US army, could improve basic skills. In the UK, Durham Constabulary has created a “cyber bungalow” where officers can learn how to capture digital evidence. More of this is needed.
Others will need specialist skills. One way to do this is through a digital skills academy, similar to the one run by Government Digital Services, training 3,000 Whitehall civil servants every year. Mirroring this success, police would annually train 1,700 officers and staff in more sophisticated technical skills. To d…