Identity theft is the most visible and often the most
commonly reported crime. It can have a devastating
impact on those affected. Many police departments have
set up cybercrime units, which have experienced some
success. However, a lack of resources and increasing
workloads limit their effectiveness. The borderless
nature of the Internet means police agencies can also
find themselves ill-equipped to investigate criminals who
electronically prey on citizens from afar.
The increasing size, prevalence and sophistication of
organized crime means that many law enforcement
agencies are in an uphill battle to contain them.
By recruiting tech-savvy members, organized crime
entities have uncovered a lower-risk, higher-gain form
of crime compared to physically committing robberies.
Some local law enforcement agencies cannot match
the resources of these organizations and therefore lack
internal staff with sufficient knowledge to
Local law enforcement organizations face increasing
compliance costs associated with security and anti-cybercrime legislation at both state and federal levels.
Most of these new laws are unfunded mandates, which
puts additional pressure on local budgets. Keeping up
with these law changes becomes a significant task
Grants previously available to law enforcement have
significantly reduced as a result of budget issues and
shifting political priorities. Local government budgets
have declined as a result of lower sales tax revenues.
State government budgets have reduced through lower
transfer payments from Federal government, increased
social welfare costs and reduced sales taxes. Public
expectation is that government will continue to provide
the same services with smaller budgets. This constraint
is felt most at the local public safety level because of
its smaller size and because local government is more
accessible to the public.
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