In the modern world of science and technology, new developments and advancements have changed the life and style of living tremendously. The world is very much complicated and the dramatic advancements in technology have added vigor to the life today. However, there is an opposite side to the same advancements and development in the field of technology which may not be disregarded at any cost. In the modern environment of the advancements in technology has resulted in the new ways of crime and crime-related activities.
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That is to say, the frequency and complexity of crime commission have, in the changed situation, undergone great changes, thereby increasing the volume and density of crime. In the several typologies or categorizations of crimes, the technology-based or computer or cyber crime has occupied a prime position in the modern lists of crimes. To see the positive results of the technological advancements of the day in relation to criminology, it can be well established that such developments have improved the law enforcement response to the investigation of crime.
Therefore, it may be inferred that the advancement of technology, on the one hand, has resulted negatively so as to increase the technology-based crime that face contemporary law enforcement, it has, on the other, resulted positively to improve law enforcement response to the investigation of crime and contemporary technology-based investigative methodologies contribute in this respect. The focus of the paper has been to address these double-faceted characteristic of the technological advancements in relation to crime.
To begin with, the emergence of technology has been found as facilitating the individual criminals as well groups in their involvement in both traditional and modern types of crimes, and it has enhanced the organizational capacity, sophistication, and scope of criminal organizations. “Technology facilitates criminals in targeting thousands of victims in multiple jurisdictions per crime, such as payment card fraud (debit/credit cards) or identity theft, before a victim or law enforcement is aware the crimes have taken place… it is difficult to obtain accurate and consistent statistics concerning the extent of technologically-assisted crime and the degree of loss. “ (Criminal Intelligent Service Canada, 2007).
There have been numerous areas of technology-based crime that face contemporary law enforcement in the modern world. To identify some of them, let us begin with the internet-based, online crimes and frauds. “In the past two decades, technology has opened new doors and created new pitfalls for both criminals and law enforcement. The sheer volume of online fraud, for example, became glaringly apparent in May of 2001 when the FBI closed the trap on Operation Cyber Loss, a nationwide sweep of cyber crime encompassing 61 cases, over 90 defendants, and 57,170 victims with total losses estimated at $117 million.” (Rist, 2002). Apart from such online frauds, e-mail viruses such as Badtans.
B virus, distribution of child pornography through internet, the piracy of software, music CDs, DVD movies, credit card skimming through hardware advance, and many such. “Susan Brenner, associate dean and professor of law, University of Dayton School of Law… lists no fewer than nine separate areas of criminal activity that can be affected by cyber crime legislation, including burglary, fraud, stalking, and vandalism.” (Rist, 2002).
In the report of a study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, the hard indicators of the frequency of crime commission and the related issues and harms are mentioned using authentic sources. According to this report, the modern statistics on the occurrence of cyber crimes point to the significance of the “enactment of computer crime-specific laws and their enforcement and demonstrate how computer crime has moved towards the front of crime concern priorities for the nation.” (Gordon et al, 2003).
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It specifies using the Federal Trade Commission report that the number of consumer complaints of Internet fraud and deception rose from less than 1,000 complaints in 1997 to over 25,000 complaints in 2000 and various other data such as that of the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, the Computer Security Institute Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) are presented to emphasize the extent of the issue.
To view the other side of the technological advance, which relates to the technology-based investigative methodologies to address the issues in a significant fashion, let us be clear about the relevance of such developments. The new situation in the advance of technology is being made the best use of in the enactment of the law that favors the strengthening of law enforcement against modern crimes. To cite an example, the Patriot Act assists in accelerating counterterrorism efforts and allocates added scope in performing electronic surveillance which, in turn, allows agencies monitor the online activities of individuals and collect data from ISPs in an efficient manner.
The massive effect of technology on law enforcement has been widely recognized. To specify the contribution of technology in crime detection and management, “PCs are just the beginning. Everything from using the Internet and age-progression software to biometric identity verification has impacted the way crime is managed.” (Rist, 2002).
The use of video technology using face recognition software which is now used by Police and the FBI in crime management is a remarkable example of the technology assisted methodologies to counter modern technology-based crimes. Visionics’ FaceIT system which “can match recorded faces to thousands of facial images of criminal suspects and sex offenders stored in a database” is another example of the technology-based methodologies practiced today. (Rist, 2002).
The use of technology in crime prevention requires a special mention here. “Preventive activity and the deployment of technology and other appropriate means are definitely capable of reducing criminality and deterring offenders, and not only from fear of being caught.” (State of Israeli Ministry of Public Security, 2008).
The use of technology in crime prevention includes detection of forged currency, goggles for rear-view vision, electronic interference to prevent telephone bugging, etc for personal protection, bicycle, motorcycle, automobile locks, alarm systems, location and emergency signal devices, vehicle security systems, etc for vehicle security, entry surveillance, interior detection systems, observation and communications systems, and others for home and business security, perimeter detection and warning, closed-circuit television, public address and warning systems, etc in neighborhood security. (State of Israeli Ministry of Public Security, 2008).
Therefore, the technological advancements are useful not only for the management of crimes but for crime prevention as well.
In conclusion, this may be remarked that the crime frequency and complexity of crime commission have improved tremendously due to the advances in technology. However, these advances in modern age have been made use of in favor of crime prevention, management and control. “From improvements in
locking and alarm systems, to new devices for location, identification, and surveillance, to means of restraining individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others, the crime control tasks confronting both the community and our police services will be made easier. Technology can assist us in making optimal use of finite resources.” (Grabosky, 1998).
Therefore, the scope of technology is particularly important, in the modern world, as far as crimes and crime control measures are concerned.
Criminal intelligent service Canada. (2007). Technology and Crime: National Overview. Web.
Grabosky, Peter. (1998). Technology & Crime Control. Australian Institutes of Criminology. Web.
Gordon, G. R. et al. (2003). Assessing Technology, Methods, and Information for Committing and Combating Cyber Crime. Web.
Rist, Oliver. (2002). Crime. PCMAG.COM. Web.
State of Israeli Ministry of Public Security. (2008). Technology in Crime Prevention: Technology in the Service against Violence. Web.
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