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Perpetrator unidentified in 90% of cybercrime cases | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


The number of digital fraud, scams, and thefts is increasing, but the police are barely succeeding in finding the perpetrators. Investigators only identify a suspect in 10 percent of reported cybercrime cases. The biggest issue is too little knowledge and experience at the police, AD reports based on a study by the Scientific Research and Data Center (WODC) that will be published on Monday.

“I am really non-technical in that regard. I just don’t understand it,” the report quotes a police officer. “When it comes to computers, then I turn off.” A colleague said: “The word ‘cyber’ ensures that people see this as a complex form of crime. Then, they immediately see a matrix field with all ones and zeros. While the reality is that some of this is simply fraud witha plug attached to it.”

The researchers studied reported cybercrime cases between 2018 and 2020 and interviewed numerous people involved, including the police. The researchers stressed that only a fraction of cybercrime cases get rerported. Figures from Statistics Netherlands showed that 16 percent of Netherlands residents fell victim to cybercrime last year, and only 17 percent of them reported it to the police.

“Nowadays more people are victims of online crime than of bicycle theft,” criminologist Rutger Leukfeldt, who did the WODC study with Stijn Ruiter, told AD. “So we see many victims, but strangely enough, few convictions.”

Part of the problem is that few people come forward to report cybercrime. And those who do often encounter a wall of ignorance at the police station, the researchers found. The police have plenty of cybercrime experts, but they mainly work in specialist teams, not at the counter. The result is that many cases don’t receive proper attention and, therefore, do not end up before the Public Prosecution Service (OM) or court.

“The police certainly did not sit idle,” Leukfeldt said. “Every unit now has a cyber team. Only we live in an enormously digitalized society. Criminals have fully prepared themselves for this. It doesn’t matter to them whether they are involved in cybercrime or not, they just look at where they can get something. You have to set up your investigative apparatus accordingly. Otherwise, you will lose the match.”

Police spokesperson Bobby Markus told AD that the WODC study only covered the dates 2018-2020, and the police have taken many steps to improve the situation since. For example, it launched Operation Centurion with the OM aimed at better processing reports of online crimes. All employees also received digital training, especially those who record reports. And a special team ensures that all resources are in order.

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