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Connecting evidence-based policing and cybercrime

Jacek Koziarski (Department of Sociology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada)
Jin Ree Lee (School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan,USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 2 March 2020

Issue publication date: 6 April 2020



This paper explores the various challenges associated with policing cybercrime, arguing that a failure to improve law enforcement responses to cybercrime may negatively impact their institutional legitimacy as reliable first responders. Further, the paper makes preliminary links between cybercrime and the paradigm of evidence-based policing (EBP), providing suggestions on how the paradigm can assist, develop, and improve a myriad of factors associated with policing cybercrime.


Three examples of prominent cybercrime incidents will be explored under the lens of institutional theory: the cyberextortion of Amanda Todd; the hacking of Ashley Madison; and the 2013 Target data breach.


EBP approaches to cybercrime can improve the effectiveness of existing and future approaches to cybercrime training, recruitment, as well as officers' preparedness and awareness of cybercrime.

Research limitations/implications

Future research will benefit from determining what types of training work at the local, state/provincial, and federal level, as well as evaluating both current and new cybercrime policing programs and strategies.

Practical implications

EBP approaches to cybercrime have the potential to improve police responses to cybercrime calls for service, save police resources, improve police–public relations during calls for service, and improve police legitimacy.


This paper links cybercrime policing to the paradigm of EBP, highlighting the need for evaluating and implementing effective evidence-based approaches to policing cybercrime.



Koziarski, J. and Lee, J.R. (2020), "Connecting evidence-based policing and cybercrime", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 198-211.



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