Law Enforcement and Justice, Part One: The Challenges of Modern Policing

On Point4 minutes readJun 3rd, 2014

How Safe is Our World?

From global terrorist threats and trans-national organised crime, to hackers accessing personal information to facilitate multi-million dollar fraud, law enforcement agencies across the world have never before faced such a range and depth of challenges to the safety and security of their citizens. Evidently, crime rates are rising and people are feeling more vulnerable than ever.

  • According to the 2013 Cost of Cyber Crime Study: United States¹ (conducted by the Ponemon Institute), the average annualized cost of cybercrime for the 60 organizations studied is $11.6 million per year, compared to $8.9 million in 2012
  • The Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report² by the FBI indicates only a marginal (5.4%) decrease in violent crimes brought to their attention for the first 6 months of 2013, when compared with the figures reported for the same time in 2012
  • PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey 2014³ reveals economic crime to be a pervasive global threat, with the highest levels reported in Africa (50%), followed by North America (41%) and Eastern Europe (39%)

The scenario appears grim, with major crime incidents such as child abduction, homicide, drugs related gang warfare, and immigration enforcement keeping the law enforcement community on its toes and sapping public confidence. Citizens want to know why criminals are back on the streets; they want investigations to result in swift closures, with perpetrators brought to justice.

Challenges in a Changing World

Law enforcement agencies are under immense public and political pressure to make communities safer, lower crime rates and resolve cases faster. One might say that the advancement in technology is changing how investigations are conducted, and rightly so. In spite of this, the increasing sophistication, complexity and frequency of felonies are posing evolving challenges to modern policing. Here’s a glimpse:

  • With resources universally stretched, there is a crucial need for technology-driven efficiency and investigative tools, but with reduced costs of ownership
  • Although law enforcement agencies have a duty to securely store and protect citizens’ personal information, the vulnerability of the current technology is making it easier for cybercriminals to access this sensitive data
  • Dependence on legacy systems is hampering the sharing of information and preventing faster access to vital data, both globally as well as locally. Clearly, the need of the hour is secure, paperless digital policing, including mobile access while on the field and digital presentation of evidence in court; a luxury that many precincts don’t have even today
  • The flipside to globalization and technological revolution is that tech-savvy criminals are easily laundering money across borders, hacking into global databases, and stealing credit card information, among other offences. For law enforcement officers bound by geographical and jurisdictional constraints, containing this menace and bringing criminals to justice is becoming tougher.

Technology, which has made our world increasingly open, has also made it highly susceptible to crime. Dealing with the current challenges is difficult, but law enforcement agencies have the ambition and mission to get ahead of the curve and prevent crime. As recognized leaders in Public Safety and Justice, Unisys understands this better than anyone else. Armed with a team of former law enforcement practitioners and with over 40 years of expertise in this space, we provide solutions that help government and law enforcement agencies make this world a safer place.

Our first post in the Public Safety and Justice series discusses the challenges faced by the law enforcement community. Our next post will focus on why it’s important to overcome these challenges and what can go wrong if officers and agencies do not have the right technology and tools to speed up investigations.

Visit our Unisys Public Safety and Justice Solutions web site for more information.


¹2013 Cost of Cyber Crime Study: United States, Ponemon Institute

²FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January-June 2013

³PWC Global Economic Crime Survey 2014

Tags-   Cyber crime Hackers Law enforcement ULeaf