Digital Technologies and Crime

Our primary focus is on analysing and understanding criminal activity, misconduct and antisocial behaviour that takes place online or is facilitated by, the internet or digital systems and environments.

Key research areas

  • new vulnerabilities for victims of online fraud;
  • data loss and data exposure;
  • serious and organised crimes such as money laundering and illicit financial flows;
  • online child sexual exploitation;
  • online extremism;
  • drugs vending on encrypted marketplaces;
  • cybercrimes affecting and facilitated by private organisations, citizens and global economies.

Research projects

  • The nature, organisation and governance of deviant activities that negatively affect online sports betting markets (A scoping review of the academic, policy and industry literature on the nature, organisation and governance of illicit activities in gambling markets, domestically in the UK and globally).
  • CyberUp – analysing the growth in cybercrime during COVID-19 and post-pandemic trends (The disruption generated by COVID-19 is not limited to those who suffer the disease, lockdown and social distancing measures have had unintended impacts on complex social domains, including cybercrime and fraud. This project explores changes in rates of cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crime during and after the pandemic).
  • Re-counting crime: new methods to improve the accuracy of estimates of crime (Aims to understand the nature of the gaps in crime data coverage, explore the implications of relying on crime estimates prone to measurement error, develop adjustment methods and estimate new 'corrected' crime counts at the local area level).

Priority areas of research interest

  • Digital Infrastructures and Contexts - including the study of hidden cryptomarkets, cryptocurrencies, and shadow infrastructures for digital communication, and new technologies and crime (eg Internet of Things, smart devices).
  • FinTech and Financial Crimes - includes the study of cyber-enabled fraud, illicit financial flows and money laundering, and sports betting markets.
  • Digital Harms - includes the study of the harms of cybercrime and digital misconduct, online mis/disinformation, online sexual abuse, online extremism and offline violent action, and cybernoia.
  • Digital Adversaries - includes the study of regulator-regulatee digital interactions, businesses as drivers, facilitators, and victims of digital misconduct, and cybercrime reporting to the police.
  • Synthetic Crime Data - includes the study of privacy-enhancing technologies, mechanisms to report crime to the police, and measurement error in crime data.

People

Cluster Lead: Nicholas Lord.

Members: Emma Barrett, David Buil-Gil, Judith Aldridge, Peter Duncan, Sandra Flynn, Polly Turner, Verity Wainwright.