At Crime Hunch, our journey involves three main kinds of differentiated criminal activity. These are traditional crime, legal crime, and neo-crime.

You can download the full slide deck that follows in PDF format here:

Digital crimes – and their hybrid cousins, which use digital and tech to blur the lines between real world and online lives – are evidence of the worst kinds of inhuman creative criminality. Sometimes reverse-engineering what someone has thought up, after the event, is the only way.

To date, before the event has proved far more challenging. Crime-fighting and law-enforcement is lately being reduced to playing catch-up. And that’s not how it should be.

Neo-crime and dark figure: when victims of crime don’t even realise their condition

The statistics in the graph above demonstrate that up to 2016 the public reports more crime than law enforcement. From 2016 onwards, however, something very strange begins to happen:

  • more crime is evidenced by law enforcement than reported by the public
  • one interpretation could be that the police and security agencies have become more sophisticated in their tracking of tech crime, with investment into cyber and other digital criminal activity increasing
  • this does, however, mean that the public are – equally increasingly – becoming unknowing victims of crimes they simply no longer have the tools to defend themselves against
  • one final set of observations: the police, law enforcement more widely, and national security more covertly may indeed be detecting more of the previously undetectable crimes we now prefer to call neo-crime, and which criminology and sociology have previously termed “dark figure”
  • this doesn’t mean they are necessarily keeping up with the explosion in such tech-driven activities
  • neither does it mean the “unknown unknowns” are under control

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