Real lives, real crimes: A study of digital crime and policing

Please note: In July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Inspections carried out before July 2017 may continue to refer to HMIC.


The public has the right to demand swift action and good quality advice about how best to deal with those who commit digital crime from every police officer or member of staff with whom they come into contact – from the first point of contact to an experienced detective. Many of those who took part in this study, police and non-police, told us that it is essential that every officer should be equipped to provide victims of digital crime with the help and support that they have a right to expect from those charged with the duty to protect them.

This study has helped HMIC better to understand the effect that digital technology is having on crime and policing. In due course, it will inform our all-force inspection programme, to assess the local response to digital crime and how well each force is progressing.

We hope that it will help chief constables and the College of Policing to provide guidance and good practice to forces so that victims of these crimes get the best possible service.

Stephen Otter QPM Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Read the study online

Download the report

Real lives, real crimes: A study of digital crime and policing