Crime has changed, and law enforcement often lacks the means necessary to adequately investigate and prosecute cybercrime. Moreover, since traditional legal frameworks are based on territoriality and state jurisdiction, a significant portion of online crime, which very often involves more than one country, go unresolved. As a result, victims’ experiences with the police can be frustrating and inconclusive.
Cross investigated the experiences of online fraud victims with the criminal justice system. Interviews aimed to unveil their views on cybercrime jurisdiction. She analysed these interview hoping to discover any misconceptions surrounding the policing of their case, as well as the challenges arising from the international nature of their ordeals.
The study drew from a 2016 study with eighty Australian victims of cyber fraud; victims of crimes ranging from romance fraud to investment fraud. From of this larger study, twenty-six of the participants mentioned the police in their interviews, permitting a greater understanding of their views.
The participants recollections about dealing with jurisdictional issues could be distilled into four major points:
Dysfunctional approaches to the issue of cross border crimes can exacerbate the harms suffered by the victims of cybercrime. Awareness of how cross jurisdictional crimes are to be reported and subsequently handles would benefit victims of cybercrime. Transparency on the handling of crimes reported to online platforms would also be beneficial. Leaving the jurisdictional mess of cybercrime investigation as ‘complex’ appears to only harm victims and benefit criminals.
The complex jurisdictional issues of cybercrime leave victims frustrated in their attempts to engage with law enforcement. The current state harms victims and aids criminals.