The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for many law enforcement agencies, with police departments across the United States, and many other countries, struggling to keep up with surging crime rates.

The increase in crimes of all kinds during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused extensive social disruption, and has seen community and government support systems temporarily or permanently ended.

Killings and gun violence are rising, while severely understaffed police departments – hit by resignations and early retirements brought on by low morale, disillusionment, and a sense of over-scrutiny – mean many crimes are simply not being dealt with.

Among the many challenges law enforcement is facing are:

  • Child exploitation cases involving massive amounts of data to review
  • A sharp rise in domestic violence cases
  • Increasing homicide rates
  • The opioid epidemic and the distribution of narcotics
  • Identifying and dismantling gang networks
  • The rising trade in cryptocurrency used to transact criminal activity

But staffing problems mean many specialized police teams are being broken up and put on patrols or short assignments which is causing hundreds of murder cases, going back several decades, to be put on the back burner. Meanwhile, attempts to hire new staff – where departments have the money to do so – are not having the desired outcome in beefing up officer numbers due to the reduced esteem in which law enforcement is held. 

As a result, many officers close to retirement are leaving law enforcement early, while others have moved to the private sector, thus leaving remaining forces stretched even further. This migration means that the remaining officers must work more hours to fill the widening staff shortages. Not surprisingly, there are widespread reports of burnout, which adds to the growing number of officers leaving policing.

As crimes began to rise during the pandemic, it quickly became clear that more officers were needed to keep communities safe and protect the innocent, while also building and closing cases quickly and more efficiently. In addition, increased funding is required for training and for providing cutting-edge solutions for dealing with the overwhelming amount of digital data in police investigations.

But with a sharp decline in tax revenues and the need to provide financial assistance to people who were unable to work due to closedowns, extra funding has been difficult to find.

Cellebrite’s 2022 Industry Trends Survey Confirms Policing Challenges

In this year’s survey, 77% of agency managers agreed that protecting and serving citizens is becoming harder than ever. Meanwhile, 72% stated that they agreed that their department is understaffed, while 70% of agency managers surveyed agreed that their employees are at serious risk of burnout.

Working efficiently has never been more important to law enforcement. Many of those who responded to the survey see technology as a game-changer in alleviating their workloads, providing a force multiplier, and reducing overall agency costs.

Two-thirds (67%) of agency managers agree that technology can help overcome staffing pressures, while 68% of agency managers agree that technology can help reduce overall agency costs.

How Agencies Can Use Technology to Meet the Challenge Of Rising Crime

Although some forward-thinking police chiefs have realized how investing in technology can help law enforcement to solve more crimes and close cases quicker, there is still a long way to go. Many agencies are held back by local officials who are reluctant to provide funding for technology and training.

They are often unaware of the efficiencies that technology provides by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a force multiplier for police departments. These solutions can speed up the investigation process to carry out time-consuming manual work and free up key personnel to concentrate on other important tasks. In turn, this can lead to improved clearance rates by boosting operational efficiency, increasing public trust, and accelerating time-to-evidence.

Digital Intelligence enables the identification of criminal networks and links far more quickly. Law enforcement agencies working with a limited number of technological tools don’t have the ability to rapidly connect the dots. Although they may eventually do so, it is likely to take weeks or months compared with minutes or hours using advanced technological tools.

Agencies typically complain about the large number of digital devices taken in during investigations and the vast amounts of data they hold which must be collected and reviewed. Technology, particularly advanced analytics solutions, can assist greatly in automating the process of parsing large volumes of data to find critical elements of actionable intelligence that can move cases forward faster.

How Does Cellebrite Help Investigations?

Cellebrite’s industry-leading end-to-end Digital Intelligence suite of solutions empowers agencies to:

  • Collect and review data from all sources – accessing locked and encrypted devices without the proper tools can mean struggling with inefficient workflows and wasted time

  • Analyze data to surface insights fast – to avoid getting bogged down with many data sources and manual, time-consuming processes

  • Manage digital data within a collaborative infrastructure – to overcome limited governance, siloed data, and a lack of information sharing

These solutions enable law enforcement to:

  • Improve processes for identifying and reporting suspected illicit activities

  • Collect all relevant data from every available data source uncovered during an investigation

  • Control and share the data within and across agencies while managing access to the right people

  • Complete the picture by outlining actionable intelligence to move investigations forward

Conclusion

Law enforcement professionals deal with enormous challenges every day, but with the right investigative solutions, what might have taken weeks or months to resolve manually can be done in minutes, freeing up key personnel to concentrate on other cases.

Contact us now to discover how Cellebrite can transform your investigations.

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