Online spaces are increasingly part of everyday life. It is therefore unsurprising that cybercrime is also an everyday occurrence: the internet is used to facilitate everything from harassment to fraud to labour exploitation. However, there is a lack of empirical research on the policing of cybercrime. Much of the literature on cybercrime is focused on ‘cutting edge’ technical attacks, and neglects the more ‘everyday’ and less technically sophisticated cybercrime to which members of the public are more often subject. These crimes may not require specialist policing skills but do require an informed response. Research on policing also often neglects the increasing importance of cybercrime in local policing.
This PhD studentship will explore how everyday cybercrime is manifest, is reported to the police and how the police culturally interpret and operationally respond to these calls. It is thus a study of the local policing of cybercrime and will reveal the lived geographies of policing cybercrime as well as how the occupational culture is adapting to the growing role of the online environment in policing.
The research questions are:
- How does cybercrime, especially low-level cybercrime, currently come to the attention of the police and how do they respond to it?
- How does local policing engage with the geographies of cybercrime?
- How does the policing of everyday cybercrime develop our understanding of police occupational culture?