Sunday, September 6, 2009

Identity Theft 911 Poll of National Law Enforcement Efforts Reveals Uphill Battle

Police Departments Cite Need for Resources; Offer Suggestions to Curb the Crime

The results of a national law enforcement survey conducted by Identity Theft 911 ( show that police departments across the country face an uphill battle fighting the pervasive crime of identity theft, have limited resources at their disposal and are often outgunned by an increasingly sophisticated enemy.

An Identity Theft 911 white paper, "Identity Theft -- Conversations with Law Enforcement and Emerging Data Breach Issues," scheduled for release in mid-October, outlines the results by exploring the challenges of fighting identity theft, the critical need for improved training, and suggestions from police departments on increased prosecution and tougher sentencing.

Highlights of a survey of some of the largest police departments in the U.S., as well as cities with the highest rates of identity theft, will be presented at the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators 2009 conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sept. 4. They will include discussion of the following:

Challenges of Police Departments Fighting Identity Theft:

* Funding: Only one police department felt it had sufficient resources to fight identity theft.

* Bandwidth: Few law enforcement organizations have the time or manpower to pursue cases that are a long distance from their cities.

* Sentences: Several jurisdictions complained the sentences were too short or the chances of getting caught slim.

Suggestions by Police Departments to Curb Identity Theft:

* More Prosecutions: Only the strongest identity theft cases are pursued for trial as they are both time-consuming and work intensive with little return.

* More Awareness: Virtually all of the respondents surveyed said that greater public awareness about the dangers and ramifications of identity theft would help them combat the crime.

* More Help from Financial Institutions: Many officers said banks and credit extenders needed to do more to safeguard information.

Surveys were sent to various law enforcement agencies across America. Respondents included large police departments such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix, and smaller organizations with high incidences of identity theft crime such as Madera, Calif., Flagstaff, Ariz., and Overland Park, Kansas.

Other departments that responded are those in Columbus, Ohio, Durham, N.C., Houston, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, Calif.


1 comment:

  1. This certainly underlines the multiple challenges identity theft represents for law enforcement. This crime cannot be prevented, and very few perps are ever caught.
    BWS-New York