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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2020

Tiina Saari, Noora Ellonen and Matti Vuorensyrjä

The purpose of this paper is to compare the employee well-being of police officers in different investigative groups. This paper analyses crime investigators’ employee…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the employee well-being of police officers in different investigative groups. This paper analyses crime investigators’ employee well-being from four perspectives: organisational commitment, job satisfaction, exhaustion and turnover intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on Finnish Police Personal Survey data (n=6,698), and qualitative and quantitative analysis methods are utilised.

Findings

Significant differences between investigative groups were found, and the police officers working in short-term investigations had the lowest level of well-being. The qualitative results revealed the employee- and organisational-level reasons behind these attitudes. One major issue is the lack of meaningfulness in work as the respondents describe their jobs as boring and monotonous and report that they do not have the appropriate resources to do their work as well as they wish.

Practical implications

To enhance the well-being of the investigators, police forces should improve the ways of leadership and invest more resources especially on short-term investigation to diminish the insecurity and ensure the quality and continuity of the work.

Originality/value

Research on the well-being of police officers has mostly focused on officers conducting surveillance or emergency operations, and there is very little knowledge of the well-being of crime investigators. This research adds to the limited knowledge on employee well-being of crime investigators.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2009

Da‐Yu Kao and Shiuh‐Jeng Wang

Cyber technology is an extremely complicated field and the internet is being increasingly used as a place to commit crimes using personal computers, as well as…

Abstract

Purpose

Cyber technology is an extremely complicated field and the internet is being increasingly used as a place to commit crimes using personal computers, as well as network‐based computers. Although cyber investigation is still in the early stages of its development, the burgeoning use of the internet has increased the necessity for digital investigations. The purpose of this paper is to increase awareness of the latest in digital comparison for cyber‐crime investigation with the studies of IP‐address and time in computer systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach to improving a cyber‐crime investigation is proposed in three stages: independent verification of digital clues, corresponding information from different sources, and preparation of a valid argument.

Findings

If the police and other authorities do not stay on top of this problem, they may lose the battle to control this cyber‐crime explosion. The paper discusses how Taiwanese police investigate cyber‐crime and the experience is able to propagate when analyzing IP‐address and time with crime‐case. It is believed that this proposed approach creates a comprehensive guide that provides support and assistance to crime investigators.

Practical implications

IP‐address and time, both indicated in this paper, are the key ingredients to identify the suspect in the beginning of investigation works. As the study shows: there is no guarantee that there always will be the “right” evidence to prove everything; investigators should try their utmost to avoid making mistakes; criminal investigators must find additional clues and proof to validate their suspicions.

Originality/value

This paper illustrates an approach to the investigation of cyber‐crime in the case of studying IP‐address and time. It is believed that the research can efficiently assist law enforcement officials in dealing with ever‐increasing cyber‐crime by using effective digital evidence.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2018

Anuar Nawawi and Ahmad Saiful Azlin Puteh Salin

The purpose of this paper is to examine the problems that are related to the witness and acquisition of evidence during the commercial crime investigation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the problems that are related to the witness and acquisition of evidence during the commercial crime investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this research were collected primarily from the semi-structured interview session conducted with ten investigation officers from the regulatory and enforcement bodies in Malaysia.

Findings

The late response from witnesses and third parties will prolong the completion period of investigation. The problem of long completion period arises in a process of investigation, particularly on the cooperation of the witnesses in attending the recording statement session and providing the evidences as well as other party who are required to provide relevant information. Although there are sufficient provisions of law that allow investigation officers to acquire evidences from witnesses and third parties, there is no time limit for third parties to respond to the enquiries from the investigation officers. The degree of the difficulties and complexity of the cases also influence the completion period of the investigation of commercial crime cases. Cases like cheating, criminal breach trust and computer crimes have varieties of modus operandi and difficulty. Thus, the burden to proof beyond reasonable doubt also increased for the investigation officers to fulfill the requirement of evidences as stated in the relevant acts to satisfy the public prosecutor to bring the case to the court.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides some evidence to indicate that commercial crime investigation generally is a collective effort. All parties involved should participate and give their best cooperation to complete the investigation in a reasonable period of time, so that the justice can be uphold for the best interest of the victim. This study, however, is limited to small number of respondents and narrow scope of study because of sensitivity of the topics.

Practical implications

It should be noted that the main problem that has been faced by the investigation officers is to acquire the cooperation from relevant parties either government or nongovernment agencies and individual witness. No matter how complex is the case, it will depend largely on the willingness of relevant parties to cooperate and providing the evidences required for the investigation officers to complete the investigation within the reasonable period. The problem has to be remedied to ensure that it will not affect the perception of public especially complainants, toward the efficiency of the investigation officers, to complete the investigation. In general, the public perceptions also affect the image of the government as a whole.

Originality/value

This study is original as it gathers the information directly from the investigation officers who are directly involved in the commercial crime investigation. The data collected were also highly confidential and not easily accessible by researchers, which are rare in literature and invaluable for academic publications.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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Article
Publication date: 23 June 2021

Heather Prince, Cynthia Lum and Christopher S. Koper

Detective work is a mainstay of modern law enforcement, but its effectiveness has been much less evaluated than patrol work. To explore what is known about effective…

Abstract

Purpose

Detective work is a mainstay of modern law enforcement, but its effectiveness has been much less evaluated than patrol work. To explore what is known about effective investigative practices and to identify evidence gaps, the authors assess the current state of empirical research on investigations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors assess the empirical research about the effectiveness of criminal investigations and detective work in resolving cases and improving clearance rates.

Findings

The authors’ analysis of the literature produced 80 studies that focus on seven categories of investigations research, which include the impact that case and situational factors, demographic and neighborhood dynamics, organizational policies and practices, investigative effort, technology, patrol officers and community members have on case resolution. The authors’ assessment shows that evaluation research examining the effectiveness of various investigative activities is rare. However, the broader empirical literature indicates that a combination of organizational policies, investigative effort and certain technologies can be promising in improving investigative outcomes even in cases deemed less solvable.

Research limitations/implications

From an evidence-based perspective, this review emphasizes the need for greater transparency, evaluation and accountability of investigative activities given the resources and importance afforded to criminal investigations.

Originality/value

This review is currently the most up-to-date review of the state of the research on what is known about effective investigative practices.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2011

Natalie Scerra

This paper aims to examine the influence of police cultural knowledge on the investigation of violent serial crimes. Specifically, it aims to identify whether such…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the influence of police cultural knowledge on the investigation of violent serial crimes. Specifically, it aims to identify whether such knowledge impacts the way in which investigative techniques are implemented. Of particular interest is the police knowledge specific to victims of violent serial crimes.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study analysis of five incidents of serial murder and four incidents of serial rape in Australia was conducted. This included a qualitative analysis of cold case files from New South Wales Police, Australia. These data were triangulated with data obtained from interviews with detectives who had investigated incidents of serial murder and serial rape from that agency.

Findings

The police cultural knowledge relating to the victims of these crimes at the time of reporting negatively impacted the subsequent investigation of these cases. This resulted in a marked delay in the recognition of cases as part of a series of crimes and a delay in the allocation of investigative resources. This knowledge was informed by police experience in street policing, not from experience in the investigation of violent serial crimes.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited to selected cases of serial crimes that occurred in Australia.

Practical implications

This research suggests that police cultural understandings of victims need to be reviewed and changed to include knowledge of serial crime victims, offenders and their crimes. Such changes could contribute to improved recognition of related crimes as being serial in nature, essentially opening the way to preventing further victimisation.

Originality/value

There is no research that considers the impact of police cultural knowledge on the investigation of violent serial crime, and its subsequent contribution to the length of time of the series of crimes remains unconnected.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Thomas Scott and Charles Wellford

This paper addresses the clearance of aggravated assaults (AAs). Specifically, the authors consider variations in these clearances over time for large agencies and test…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper addresses the clearance of aggravated assaults (AAs). Specifically, the authors consider variations in these clearances over time for large agencies and test which crime, investigation and agency factors are associated with the likelihood of clearance by arrest or exceptional means. In doing this work, they seek to extend the understanding of how police can improve their investigations and ability to solve serious offenses.

Design/methodology/approach

Using case, investigative and organizational data collected from seven large police departments selected on the basis of their trajectory of index crime clearances, and measures of case characteristics, investigative effort and organizational best practices, this paper uses descriptive and inferential statistics to analyze AA investigations and case clearance.

Findings

Key findings include the following: trajectories of AA clearance vary across large agencies and covary with a measure of organizational best practices, and the relationship between investigative effort and case clearance can depend on organizational practices. The authors find that measures of investigative effort are either not related to case clearance or there is a negative association.

Research limitations/implications

Now that police researchers have a better understanding of AAs and their investigations, they need to test how this knowledge can be used to improve the quality of police investigations. Tests, preferably multi-agency randomized control trials, of new investigative strategies and organizational practices are needed.

Originality/value

This research is original in that it uses a multi-agency sample and crime, investigation and organizational measures to understand AA clearance.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 22 January 2021

Jacqueline M. Drew, Emily Moir and Michael Newman

Financial crime continues to represent a crime type that costs billions of dollars per year. It is likely more widespread than any other criminal offence. Despite this, it…

Abstract

Purpose

Financial crime continues to represent a crime type that costs billions of dollars per year. It is likely more widespread than any other criminal offence. Despite this, it remains an area that is often ignored, or at best neglected by police. Police agencies typically fail to invest resources and training in upskilling police in financial crime investigation. The current study evaluates an agency-wide training initiative undertaken by the Queensland Police Service (QPS), Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

The QPS mandated completion of an in-house online financial crime training program for all officers, up to and including the rank of senior sergeant. Matched pre- and post-training data of 1,403 officers were obtained.

Findings

The research found that police are under-trained in financial crime. The findings suggest that short online training programs can produce important improvements in knowledge and confidence in financial crime investigation. Critically, attitudes about this crime type which may be deterring officers from engaging in financial crime investigation can be improved.

Originality/value

The current research finds that police agencies need to more heavily invest in training officers to investigate financial crime and such investment will have positive outcomes. The first step involves improving knowledge, skills and attitudes towards this crime type. Further research is needed to understand why training, particularly related to attitudinal change, is more effective for different cohorts of police and how future training programs should be adapted to maximise success.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

Rick Brown

This paper aims to examine 12 cases in which financial investigation was used in the UK to secure a conviction of an organised crime group. Importantly, no conviction…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine 12 cases in which financial investigation was used in the UK to secure a conviction of an organised crime group. Importantly, no conviction would have been achieved in these cases without the use of financial investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews were undertaken with investigating officers/financial investigators/prosecutors associated with 60 cases in which a conviction and subsequent confiscation order were achieved. Of these 60 cases, a conviction would not have been achieved without the use of financial investigation in 12 cases. In other cases (not examined here), financial investigation played a supporting role for other methods of investigation to achieve a conviction. This paper provides a reanalysis of the 12 cases concerned.

Findings

The study shows that financial investigation was often introduced at the pre‐arrest stage in an investigation, although there were still opportunities to introduce financial investigation earlier in the case in some instances. While a range of different types of criminality were investigated, all 12 were eventually convicted of financial crime.

Research limitations/implications

The research was limited by the small number of cases examined and by the fact that it relied on the recollections of those involved in the cases, rather than analysis of case files. Further research should examine a wider range of cases in which a conviction was secured solely through financial investigation.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to analyse cases in which convictions for organised crime would not have been achieved without financial investigation.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

David Chave

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the limitations of training provided to accredited financial investigators, police officers generally, the Crown Prosecution…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the limitations of training provided to accredited financial investigators, police officers generally, the Crown Prosecution Service and the judiciary in relation to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, money laundering, the investigation of financial crime and the options to recover the assets of criminals.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review of the legislation and statutory instruments; training material; evidence provided to government committees; academic papers and journal articles was undertaken to identify the intention of the legislation and how this is manifested in the training of those responsible for dealing with money laundering; cash detention and forfeiture; restraint and confiscation.

Findings

The training provided to accredited financial investigators has failed to progress since the implementation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 that legislated for its provision. It is limited to the use of the powers granted to financial investigators within the Act, ignoring the variety of roles in which an accredited financial investigator can be used, as well as the changing face of criminality generally and specifically in terms of fraud and money laundering and the predicate criminality behind it. Additionally, the training for the Crown Prosecution Service and judiciary is inadequate with insufficient lawyers and judges with expertise in Proceeds of Crime work. Suggestions for the improvement in training are made with a recommendation that the training be reviewed regularly to ensure currency and relevance.

Originality/value

This paper serves as a useful review of the existing training picture in financial investigation and identifies its limitations and areas for improvement. It is essential that financial investigation is not viewed as an inconvenience or a niche role and that it is considered essential to the investigation of organised crime, money laundering, acquisitive and economic crime.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2021

Dana Wilson-Kovacs

In-depth knowledge about specific national approaches to using digital evidence in investigations is scarce. A clearer insight into the organisational barriers and…

Abstract

Purpose

In-depth knowledge about specific national approaches to using digital evidence in investigations is scarce. A clearer insight into the organisational barriers and professional challenges experienced, alongside a more detailed picture of how digital evidence can help police investigations are required to empirically substantiate claims about how digital technologies are changing the face of criminal investigations. The paper aims to focus on the introduction of digital media investigators to support investigating officers with the collection and interpretation of digital evidence.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on ethnographic and interview data collected as part of an Economic and Social Research Council-funded project on the application of digital forensics expertise in policing in England and Wales, this paper examines the changing face of investigations in relation to escalating digital demand.

Findings

The analysis presents the national and regional organisational parameters of deploying digital expertise in criminal investigation and examines some of the challenges of being a digital media investigator (DMI). Through testimonies from DMIs, digital forensic practitioners, investigating and senior officers and forensic managers, the analysis explores the organisational tensions in the collection, processing, interpretation and use of information from digital devices for evidential purposes.

Research limitations/implications

The paper offers an empirical basis for the comparative study of how the DMI role has been implemented by law enforcement agencies and its fit within broader institutional considerations and processes.

Practical implications

The development of the DMI role has raised questions about the supply of digital expertise, especially to volume crime investigations, and tensions around occupational divisions between scientific and operational units.

Social implications

The findings show that while the introduction of the DMI role was much needed, the development of this valuable provision within each force and the resources available require sustained and coordinated support to protect these professionals and retain their skills.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the growing sociological and criminological literature with an ethnographically based perspective into the organisational and occupational tensions in the identification and processing of digital evidence in England and Wales.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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