CRG 23/16-17: Responding to cybercrime: Perceptions and need of Australian police and the general community

This research examines perceptions of cybercrime among police officers, community members and cybersecurity experts in Australia. It examines how these groups conceptualise the problem of cybercrime and where there is disagreement, as well as identifying opportunities for improvement to both officer capabilities and community awareness about cybercrime risk and prevention. The research draws from a survey of police officers based in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania; a survey of adult members of the general Australian community; and a focus group with cybersecurity experts.

The research suggests that police officers and community members are engaged in an ongoing negotiation about their responsibilities in cybercrime investigations and prevention programs. It affirms that an officer’s preparedness to investigate cybercrime correlates with their levels of education, previous training, and degree of professional exposure to cybercrime investigations. It suggests that life experiences and sociodemographic characteristics influence perceptions of cybercrime among both police officers and community members, and notes disagreement between police officers and community members about the public’s perception of risk related to cybercrime. Overall, the research advocates several recommendations for improving understandings of and responses to cybercrime in Australia.