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NCJ Number: 200411 Find in a Library
Title: Computer Crime Enforcement in Texas: Funding, Training, and Investigating Problems
Journal: Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2003  Pages:24-37
Author(s): Sutham Cheurprakobkit; Gloria T. Pena
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the attitudes of computer-crime officers in Texas to determine their views on general problems in dealing with computer crime and the impact of demographic and institution-support factors on officers' attitudes.
Abstract: A total of 235 surveys were sent to all of the police departments in Texas in February 2000. A total of 100 usable surveys were returned, for a response rate of 42.6 percent. Independent variables consisted of seven demographic variables (age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, educational level, computer education, and city population) and the following six variables: whether the department had a computer crime unit, length of computer-related training, amount of grant money for computer training and for computer equipment annually, and the amount of budget for computer training and for computer equipment annually. When a computer crime was reported, the respondents were asked to identify the agency from which they sought assistance. Also, the respondents were asked questions about the number of computer-crime personnel, the length of time the computer crime unit had existed, and the number of computer crimes reported and solved by the police department in the past 2 years. Dependent variables were nine constructed Likert-type statements that measured respondents' attitudes in three areas: computer-traditional crime comparison category, which measured how respondents compared computer crime to traditional crime; computer training category, which measured the extent to which respondents perceived the need for preservice and inservice training; and the personal expenses category, which measured whether personal expenses were perceived as needed for either computer equipment or computer training. In addition, the survey asked respondents to respond to a yes/no list of impediments to computer investigations/forensics. The survey findings indicated that computer crime units needed more budgetary support and more training for personnel and their investigations. A lack of computer skill/knowledge was identified as the greatest impediment to effective investigations. Officers tended to understand the complexity of computer crime but were not clear about its seriousness. The size of the city and whether the department had a computer crime unit were the most significant factors that impacted officers' attitudes toward the need for institutional support. The study suggests that officers' attitudes, institutional support, personnel, and network are the keys to effective computer-crime investigations. 9 tables and 28 references
Main Term(s): Computer crime investigative Training
Index Term(s): Computer related crime; Funding sources; Police computer training; Police specialized training; Specialized investigative units; Texas
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