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Public demand on police and industry to respond to cybercrime set to increase


Public demand on police and industry to respond to cybercrime set to increase

PA Consulting Group launches survey of British public on what they want from the police in response to cybercrime

The public expects a national response from the police to the most serious cybercrimes and expects industry to step in to manage less serious incidents. This response will need to focus on building confidence and victim satisfaction - dealing with the high expectations of younger generations whilst balancing this with the range of competing demands from other types of crime, according to a new PA Consulting Group survey.

Key survey findings:

  1. different generations have different expectations on law enforcement - 43% of Generation Z expect more emphasis on cybercrime compared to 20% of the over 55s
  2. the public expects internet service providers (ISPs) to deal with less serious crimes - over 50% of the public expect ISPs to respond to online fraud or theft
  3. the public wants a national police response to more serious crimes - in instances of child abuse and organised crime, the most popular organisation that the public thought should
  4. lead a response was national policing (such as the National Crime Agency)
    victims of cybercrime have a lower level of satisfaction (60%) than victims of real world crime (74%).

Balancing the needs of different generations

It is unsurprising that different generations – with vastly different levels of exposure to the internet throughout their lives – have different experiences of cybercrime. The digital natives of Generation Z present a new and growing challenge for the police. They are exposed to greater online risk and have high expectations of the police; 70% of Generation Z are confident that the police already have the right capabilities to investigate and tackle online crime.

Carl Roberts, security and policing expert at PA Consulting Group, says: “There is significant investment being made into cybercrime capabilities and arrests in response to crimes such as the recent TalkTalk attack. However, at a time when the police are having to make difficult decisions on their priorities it is important that they understand what the public expects and ensure that digital capabilities are being developed in a collaborative and efficient way. In particular they need to be clear on who should be responsible for what capabilities at local and national levels; how to improve victim satisfaction; and how to engage with the emerging younger generations who have lived their entire lives on the internet.”

What the response looks like:

  1. clarity over responsibilities: clarifying who is responsible for prevention and detection at local, regional and national levels
  2. local support for victims: victims of cybercrime should be provided with the same level of support as if they were a victim of burglary
  3. partnership with industry: ISPs have a role to play in prevention and response to cybercrimes enabled by ISPs’ network infrastructure
  4. engaging the younger generations: police must understand and meet the expectations of an emerging generation of digital natives.


About the survey
A random sample of 1,034 GB adults aged 16+ were interviewed by telephone in June 2015. Surveys were conducted across the country, with quotas set on age, gender and region. The results have been weighted to the known GB profile of age, gender, region, social grade, taken a foreign holiday in the last three years, tenure, number of cars in the household, working status, and mobile only household.

Due to the nature of the topic, opinions were collected both from people who are connected to the internet and those that are not. A survey conducted over the telephone afforded the opportunity to reach both of these groups. 50% of the sample was contacted via landline and 50% via mobile to ensure that the correct proportion of mobile only households was achieved. To reach the Generation Z cohort, an additional 30 interviews were conducted with 16 and 17 year olds and the number of interviews is representative of this age group among the population.

Contact the government and public sector team

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