Researching policing in a digital and networked age

David S. Wall

Cybercrime Research Unit, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, School of Law, University of Leeds, UK. d.s.wall@leeds.ac.uk

This paper will explore the practical and methodological issues arising from interdisciplinary empirical research into the demands made of policing agencies in the digital and networked age. It will draw upon the findings of two ongoing RCUK funded collaborative research projects into the policing of cybercrimes. While collaborative and interdisciplinary research are ‘flavours of the moment’, they are also ideas that are easily articulated, but extremely difficult to implement and this paper will explore the reasons why this is the case. The paper will briefly look at the progress made so far in the research field before outlining some of the key issues arising. It will then go on to outline the practical issues that relate to collaborative research and it will discuss the methodological issues raised by interdisciplinary research. It will then consider some of the legacy problems that need to be addressed, such as the ‘reassurance gap in policing cybercrime’ between the inflated, even exaggerated, demands for (cyber)security and the inability of police and government to deliver at that desired level. It will also look at how the reassurance gap can be closed via collaborative work and co-production. The latter part of the paper will draw upon early research findings using national and local police operational data to draw some conclusions and offer some take away points.

Biography:

David S. Wall, PhD is Professor of Criminology in the Centre for Criminal Justice studies, School of Law, University of Leeds, UK where he researches (and teaches) cybercrime, organised crime, policing and intellectual property crime. He has published a wide range of articles and books on these subjects. He also has a sustained track record of interdisciplinary funded research in these areas from the EU FP6, FP7, H2020, ESRC, EPSRC, AHRC & other funders, such as the Home Office and DSTL. David has been a member of various Governmental working groups, such as the Ministerial Working Group on Horizon Planning 2020-25, the Home Office Cybercrime Working Group (2014-2016) looking at issues of policy, costs and harms of crime and technology to society, and the HMIC Digital Crime and Policing working group in 2015. He is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He re-joined Leeds University in August 2015 from Durham where he was Professor of Criminology (2010-2015) and Head of the School of Applied Social Sciences (2011-2014). Prior to moving to Durham he was Head of the School of Law (2005-2007) and Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice (2000-2005) at the University of Leeds.

‘Bye Felipe!’: Resisting, displaying and rejecting harassment online

L. Vitis

University of Liverpool Singapore

Technologically Facilitated Gendered Violence (TFGV) is readily becoming a key site of analysis for criminologists, with scholars examining how technology is used to facilitate violence against women and the challenges the criminal justice system faces when addressing this problem. Within this scholarship online harassment including: aggressive, silencing, violent and sexually violent speech and behaviours directed at women has emerged as a troubling manifestation of TFGV. While feminist commentators have, rightly, highlighted the damaging consequences of this behaviour and its normalization, there has been little work examining the techniques women employ to resist online sexual harassment. This paper examines three individually run Instagram accounts, which expose harassment within online dating sites: “instagranniepants“, “byeFelipe” and “feminist tinder” to explore both the range of behaviours and practices used to harass online and how witnessing, shaming and humour are merged and used as techniques of resistance. It explores these visual accounts as illustrations of how women –within vexed online spaces- are harnessing and channeling the tools and nuances of the internet: the capacity for satire, intertextuality and shaming as techniques to engender a unique kind of resistance. One which both engages the individual harasser, critically witnesses harassment and facilitates an entertainment based exo-judicial punishment. This paper also situates these techniques of resistance within the context of crime control in late modernity and raises questions about the primacy of criminal law within call-out culture.

Biography

Dr Laura Vitis is a Lecturer in Criminology in the University of Liverpool in Singapore. Her research examines gender, technology and violence; risk and sexual offences and media in the criminal justice system.

‘Bye Felipe!’: Resisting, displaying and rejecting harassment online

L. Vitis

University of Liverpool Singapore

Technologically Facilitated Gendered Violence (TFGV) is readily becoming a key site of analysis for criminologists, with scholars examining how technology is used to facilitate violence against women and the challenges the criminal justice system faces when addressing this problem. Within this scholarship online harassment including: aggressive, silencing, violent and sexually violent speech and behaviours directed at women has emerged as a troubling manifestation of TFGV. While feminist commentators have, rightly, highlighted the damaging consequences of this behaviour and its normalization, there has been little work examining the techniques women employ to resist online sexual harassment. This paper examines three individually run Instagram accounts, which expose harassment within online dating sites: “instagranniepants“, “byeFelipe” and “feminist tinder” to explore both the range of behaviours and practices used to harass online and how witnessing, shaming and humour are merged and used as techniques of resistance. It explores these visual accounts as illustrations of how women –within vexed online spaces- are harnessing and channeling the tools and nuances of the internet: the capacity for satire, intertextuality and shaming as techniques to engender a unique kind of resistance. One which both engages the individual harasser, critically witnesses harassment and facilitates an entertainment based exo-judicial punishment. This paper also situates these techniques of resistance within the context of crime control in late modernity and raises questions about the primacy of criminal law within call-out culture.

Biography

Dr Laura Vitis is a Lecturer in Criminology in the University of Liverpool in Singapore. Her research examines gender, technology and violence; risk and sexual offences and media in the criminal justice system.

Anonymity, attribution, apportionment sentencing the cyber criminal

P. Aloi

Principal Federal Prosecutor and Work Group Coordinator (Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Perth Office) – patricia.aloi@iinet.net.au.

Background

Australian prosecution statistics on some of the more common cybercrime offences prosecuted at the federal level demonstrate a steady increase in matters prosecuted under Parts 10.6 and 10.7 of the Criminal Code (Cth) over the last 10 years.

Prosecutions have been predominantly with respect to alleged unauthorised access to or modification of computers and data.

Sentencing jurisprudence with respect to cybercrime in Australia is embryonic given the very limited number of prosecutions under these Parts.

Aims

The aim of the presentation is to outline recent first instance and appellate cybercrime sentencing decisions in Australia.  Specific issues with respect to sentencing the juvenile cyber offender will also be considered.

Sentencing a cybercrime offender involves a Court navigating a complex web of sociological, technological and criminological issues.

At the sentencing stage, cybercrime offenders often invoke technical prowess and service to the broader public interest in justifying their conduct.

Sentencing a cybercrime offender involves delicately balancing the public interest against the individual rights of the offender whilst taking into consideration concepts such as anonymity, attribution and the apportionment of punishment which adequately and appropriately reflects the alleged criminality and degree of quantifiable and resultant harm from that criminality.

Content

The presentation will draw on my practical experience as a Principal Federal Prosecutor in the Perth Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and will involve an examination of very recent cybercrime prosecutions and sentencing outcomes in Australia.

The presentation will consider the emerging sentencing jurisprudence with respect to cybercrime offences.  It will also outline practical issues with respect to prosecuting cybercrime offences and appropriately presenting matters to sentencing Courts.


Biography

Patricia is a Principal Federal Prosecutor and Work Group Coordinator in the Perth Office of the Commonwealth DPP.   Admitted in South Australia in 2003 and in Western Australia in 2005, Patricia has been employed in State and Federal DPPs in SA and WA since 2002.  Patricia holds an LLM from the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the University of Turin (UNITO) in International Organisations, International Criminal Law and Crime Prevention and an LLM (with Distinction) from UWA with a focus on criminology and criminal justice.  Patricia’s research interests include federal criminal law, criminology and cybercrime.

Anonymity, attribution, apportionment sentencing the cyber criminal

P. Aloi

Principal Federal Prosecutor and Work Group Coordinator (Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Perth Office) – patricia.aloi@iinet.net.au.

Background

Australian prosecution statistics on some of the more common cybercrime offences prosecuted at the federal level demonstrate a steady increase in matters prosecuted under Parts 10.6 and 10.7 of the Criminal Code (Cth) over the last 10 years.

Prosecutions have been predominantly with respect to alleged unauthorised access to or modification of computers and data.

Sentencing jurisprudence with respect to cybercrime in Australia is embryonic given the very limited number of prosecutions under these Parts.

Aims

The aim of the presentation is to outline recent first instance and appellate cybercrime sentencing decisions in Australia.  Specific issues with respect to sentencing the juvenile cyber offender will also be considered.

Sentencing a cybercrime offender involves a Court navigating a complex web of sociological, technological and criminological issues.

At the sentencing stage, cybercrime offenders often invoke technical prowess and service to the broader public interest in justifying their conduct.

Sentencing a cybercrime offender involves delicately balancing the public interest against the individual rights of the offender whilst taking into consideration concepts such as anonymity, attribution and the apportionment of punishment which adequately and appropriately reflects the alleged criminality and degree of quantifiable and resultant harm from that criminality.

Content

The presentation will draw on my practical experience as a Principal Federal Prosecutor in the Perth Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and will involve an examination of very recent cybercrime prosecutions and sentencing outcomes in Australia.

The presentation will consider the emerging sentencing jurisprudence with respect to cybercrime offences.  It will also outline practical issues with respect to prosecuting cybercrime offences and appropriately presenting matters to sentencing Courts.


Biography

Patricia is a Principal Federal Prosecutor and Work Group Coordinator in the Perth Office of the Commonwealth DPP.   Admitted in South Australia in 2003 and in Western Australia in 2005, Patricia has been employed in State and Federal DPPs in SA and WA since 2002.  Patricia holds an LLM from the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the University of Turin (UNITO) in International Organisations, International Criminal Law and Crime Prevention and an LLM (with Distinction) from UWA with a focus on criminology and criminal justice.  Patricia’s research interests include federal criminal law, criminology and cybercrime.

Can criminological theory explain cyber-bullying? A test of general strain theory and the general theory of crime

A. McGrath1*, H. Lianos2

1 School of Psychology, Charles Sturt University
2 School of Psychology, Charles Sturt University

*corresponding author: amcgrath@csu.edu.au

The current study tests the ability of two well-known criminological theories to explain a specific deviant behaviour: cyberbullying. Three hundred and twenty tertiary students aged 18 to 30 years completed an online questionnaire measuring experiences of cyber-bullying as well as constructs from both the general theory of crime and general strain theory. Overall, evidence to support both theories was obtained. In relation to the general theory of crime, individuals with lower self-control and greater opportunity to offend (measured by time spent online) were more likely to engage in cyber-bullying. In relation to general strain theory, greater strain predicted higher levels of self-reported cyber bullying, with this relationship being mediated by anger. Specifically, individuals experiencing greater strain were more likely to experience anger and subsequently more likely to engage in cyber-bullying.

Biography

Andrew McGrath teaches forensic and developmental psychology at Charles Sturt University. He is interested in juvenile offending, risk assessment, and bullying. He was the winner of the Allen Austin Bartholomew award in 2009.

Can criminological theory explain cyber-bullying? A test of general strain theory and the general theory of crime

A. McGrath1*, H. Lianos2

1 School of Psychology, Charles Sturt University
2 School of Psychology, Charles Sturt University

*corresponding author: amcgrath@csu.edu.au

The current study tests the ability of two well-known criminological theories to explain a specific deviant behaviour: cyberbullying. Three hundred and twenty tertiary students aged 18 to 30 years completed an online questionnaire measuring experiences of cyber-bullying as well as constructs from both the general theory of crime and general strain theory. Overall, evidence to support both theories was obtained. In relation to the general theory of crime, individuals with lower self-control and greater opportunity to offend (measured by time spent online) were more likely to engage in cyber-bullying. In relation to general strain theory, greater strain predicted higher levels of self-reported cyber bullying, with this relationship being mediated by anger. Specifically, individuals experiencing greater strain were more likely to experience anger and subsequently more likely to engage in cyber-bullying.

Biography

Andrew McGrath teaches forensic and developmental psychology at Charles Sturt University. He is interested in juvenile offending, risk assessment, and bullying. He was the winner of the Allen Austin Bartholomew award in 2009.

Internet spaceships are seriously organised business

R.W. Fleet

Griffith University – School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Robert.fleet@griffithuni.edu.au

Organised crime seeks to make money from the market for illicit goods and services. These illicit markets are characterised by the use of violence as a tool for market protection and dispute resolution in the absence of legal recourse. Illicit Market Groups are organised groups that operate within these illicit markets for the pursuit of profit. Illicit markets and Illicit Market Groups are also characterised by their covert nature and have proven difficult to observe in the real world. The current study utilises a new and novel approach to overcome this difficulty.  Using data generated by a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game, it observes the behaviour of profit seeking organised groups. The particular MMO (EVE Online) studied has previously been the subject of a number of research areas including economic research which demonstrated its similarity to real world economic markets. Furthermore, the virtual market is also characterised by using violence as a tool for market protection and dispute resolution in the absence of legal recourse. Importantly the virtual market and the use of violence by groups is able to be observed in a complete, correct and consistent way. The present study leverages the ability to better observe the virtual market to investigate the use of violence within virtual market groups and draws parallels with illicit market groups. The observations made shed light on the covert structures of illicit market groups, the use of violence, and the decision-making process. In particular, the research focuses on the link between violence experienced and violence perpetrated. Additionally the link between the materiel cost of violence and levels of violence will be investigated. The findings from the study will contribute to expanding knowledge of the decision-making of organised groups and the application of novel research environments to real world issues.

Biography

Robert is currently a PhD Candidate at Griffith University in Brisbane. He holds a BSc and MA from the University of Auckland. Robert is interested in the novel research environments found in virtual universes and other virtual spaces.

Internet spaceships are seriously organised business

R.W. Fleet

Griffith University – School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Robert.fleet@griffithuni.edu.au

Organised crime seeks to make money from the market for illicit goods and services. These illicit markets are characterised by the use of violence as a tool for market protection and dispute resolution in the absence of legal recourse. Illicit Market Groups are organised groups that operate within these illicit markets for the pursuit of profit. Illicit markets and Illicit Market Groups are also characterised by their covert nature and have proven difficult to observe in the real world. The current study utilises a new and novel approach to overcome this difficulty.  Using data generated by a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game, it observes the behaviour of profit seeking organised groups. The particular MMO (EVE Online) studied has previously been the subject of a number of research areas including economic research which demonstrated its similarity to real world economic markets. Furthermore, the virtual market is also characterised by using violence as a tool for market protection and dispute resolution in the absence of legal recourse. Importantly the virtual market and the use of violence by groups is able to be observed in a complete, correct and consistent way. The present study leverages the ability to better observe the virtual market to investigate the use of violence within virtual market groups and draws parallels with illicit market groups. The observations made shed light on the covert structures of illicit market groups, the use of violence, and the decision-making process. In particular, the research focuses on the link between violence experienced and violence perpetrated. Additionally the link between the materiel cost of violence and levels of violence will be investigated. The findings from the study will contribute to expanding knowledge of the decision-making of organised groups and the application of novel research environments to real world issues.

Biography

Robert is currently a PhD Candidate at Griffith University in Brisbane. He holds a BSc and MA from the University of Auckland. Robert is interested in the novel research environments found in virtual universes and other virtual spaces.

Inside out: Comparing cybercrimes committed by ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’

A. Hutchings

Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, alice.hutchings@cl.cam.ac.uk

I will be talking about the Cambridge Computer Crime Database (CCCD), a database that I established with open source information about cybercrime arrests and prosecutions in the United Kingdom. The database goes back to 1 January 2010, and includes cybercrime cases that fall under the Computer Misuse Act, as well as fraud, conspiracy, misconduct in public office, data protection, and money laundering offences where there is a direct link to cybercrime. I will provide an analysis of the cases, comparing those that have been committed by those internal to an organisation, such as an employee or contractor, to those that have been committed by outsiders. The focus will be on offender characteristics, offence types, international aspects, co-offending, and sentencing outcomes.

Biography

Dr Alice Hutchings is a Research Associate at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. A criminologist, her research interests include understanding cybercrime offenders, and the prevention, intervention and disruption of online crime. She is a researcher in the Cambridge Cloud Cybercrime Centre, a multi-disciplinary initiative combining expertise from the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, Institute of Criminology and Faculty of Law. Alice completed her PhD at Griffith University, and previously worked at the Australian Institute of Criminology.

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