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Onderzoek Lexis Nexis: Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations

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  • 1. Market Research Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings Four out of every five law enforcement professionals use social media for investigative purposes. Risk Solutions Government
  • 2. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 2 Table of Contents Backgroundandmethodology.................................................................... 3 Executivesummary......................................................................................... 4 Social mediaininvestigations—overallmarket..................................... 5 Nonusers—socialmediaininvestigations.............................................. 7 Users—social mediaininvestigations....................................................... 8 Appendix: respondentdemographics................................................... 16
  • 3. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 3 Background and methodology Overview Socialmediaisrapidlychangingthewaylawenforcement professionals operatebothinidentifyingcrimesaswellasinvestigating crimes. LexisNexis® wantedtogetabetterunderstandingoflawenforcement’suseofsocialmedia, specificallywithregardstotheinvestigativeprocess, forlawenforcement efforts.Toourknowledge,thereisverylittledataavailablethat addressesthe roleofsocialmediaininvestigations.Ourgoalwastohelpeducateindividual andagenciesandfosterbestpracticesforthelawenforcement community. Research Objectives Assessthelawenforcementcommunity–particularlythoseinvolvedin crime investigations–tounderstandtheuseofsocialmediain lawenforcement. Understandacceptabilitythresholdsforvarioustypesofinvestigative techniquesusingsocialmedia. Understandcurrentresourcesandprocessesusedbylawenforcement when leveragingsocialmediaintelligenceininvestigations. Methodology AnonlinestudywasconductedamongthePoliceOne.comcommunityin March2012. LexisNexiswasnotidentifiedasthe sponsor. Respondentshad tobelawenforcementandusersofsocialmedia.  A total of1,221federal, state andlocallawenforcementprofessionalsparticipated, representing avarious mixofages,geographies,experiencelevels,andranks. Executive summary Among law enforcement users, social media is widely used for investigations, with four of every five law enforcement professionals using it for this purpose. • Frequencyofuseishighaswell,withnearlyhalf using it at least weekly. • Those respondents under age 55, more experienced investigators, and those in supervisory positions are significantly more likely to use social media for investigations. • Agencies serving smaller populations and with fewer sworn personnel use social media more often, while state agencies tend to use it less than local and federal. • Regionally, the Northeast leads the way in use. Social media is highly valued and used in investigations. Its usage is expected to increase even more in the future. There are three main barriers to using social media for investigations: • Logistics • Knowledge Levels & Training • Perceptual Obstacles
  • 4. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 4 Thetopuseofsocialmediaisforcrimeinvestigations,followeddistantlybycrimeanticipation. • Identifying people and locations, discovering criminal activity, and gathering evidence are the top activities done via social media. • Communal and personal sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, are the most used social media sites. Sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs, where users can better control their content, are used less often. Theroleofsocialmediaininvestigationswillcontinuetobecomemoremainstream,as83%of currentusersexpecttouseitmoreoverthenextyearand74%ofthosenotcurrentlyusingitintendtodosointhefuture. Barrier Insights Logistics • Among non-users, a lack of access during working hours is a primary reason for non-use. This could be a result of permissions or accessibility to social media sites. • If accessibility-based, this ties into the need for mobility in the field. Prior user studies indicated that law enforcement professionals value portability and mobile devices, enabling the use of data in real time. Knowledge Levels & Training • A lack of social media skills is a primary reason for non-use. • One-third of law enforcement who use social media are uncomfortable with it, possibly due to a lack of training. Even those users who are comfortable are so because of self-initiated training. • Law enforcement professionals are predominantly self-taught in social media. Very few have had any formal training. Only 8% have received assistance from a vendor. • Agencies with less than 50 sworn personnel are the most likely to use social media in investigations, but the least likely to have received any formal training. Perceptual Obstacles • ProofofValue–One-thirddonotbelievethatsocialmediaincreasesthepace ofinvestigationsorassistsincrimeanticipation. • Leadership Support – Only half of law enforcement professionals in command positions support the use of social media. Contradicting this finding, those in supervisory roles are heavier users of social media than non- supervisory roles. • Credibility – Sixty percent of respondents indicate that social media information is not credible. However, 87% of the time, social media evidence holds up in court when used for probable cause to secure a search warrant.
  • 5. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 5 Social media in investigations—overall market Amongthoserespondentswhousesocialmedia, fourout ofeveryfivelawenforcement professionalsuseit for investigativepurposes.Thetopuseisforcrimeinvestigations, followedbycrimeanticipation. 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Percent AcƟviƟes Social Media Use Specific AcƟviƟes Social Media Use InvesƟgaƟve vs. Non-InvesƟgaƟve 69% 41% 33% 23% 22% 22% 17% 14% 5% 31% 26% 19% 81% Listening/ monitoring for potenƟal criminal acƟvity In-Service training Background invesƟgaƟons for job candidates Community outreach to build public relaƟons NoƟfying the public of crimes NoƟfying the public of emergencies/ disasters SoliciƟng crime Ɵps Recruitment NoƟfying the public of traffic issues Other (please specify) Crime invesƟgaƟons InvesƟgaƟve Non-InvesƟgaƟve BASE: Total respondents using Social Media (1221). Which of the following acƟviƟes do you yourself use social media tools for? Please select all that apply.
  • 6. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 6 Thoserespondentsunderage55,experiencedinvestigators,respondentsin supervisorypositionsandagenciesserving smallerpopulationsandwithfewerswornpersonnel, tendtousesocial mediamoreoften. Regionally, theNortheast leadsthewayinsocialmediausage. 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Personal CharacterisƟcs Agency Geographic Age Level Type Region PopulaƟon Size# of Sworn PersonnelYears of Experience Percent Use Social Media for InvesƟgaƟve Purposes<35 36-44 45-54 55+ <6 6-10 11-15 Federal State Local 15+ <50 50-249 250-499 500-999 1000+ Northeast Midwest South West <50K 51-100K >100K Supervisory Rank&File 82% 84% 79% 71% 75% 82% 84% 81% 81% 86% 76% 78% 85% 85% 80% 80% 74% 89% 83% 77% 79% 79% 81% 71% 82% BASE: Total respondents (1221).
  • 7. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 7 Non-users—social media in investigations Alackofaccesstoandlimitedknowledgeofsocial mediaaretheprimaryreasonsfornon-use. Veryfewrespondents feelthattheinformationitselfisnotofvalue.Threeout ofeveryfournon-usersintendtobegin using social media for investigationsinthenext12months. 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Percent Reasons Reasons Why Social Media Isn’t Used in InvesƟgaƟons Expected Change of Use in Next Year Unable to access during working hours Don’t have enough knowledge to use Don’t have enough Ɵme to use Lack of support from those in command Agency policy Don’t personally believe informaƟon is useful 37% 33% 17% 17% 12% 4% Stay about the same 26% Somewhat increase 33% Significantly increase 41% (Increase: 74%) BASE: Not used for invesƟgaƟve purpose (233). Why do you not use media in your invesƟgaƟons or crime monitoring acƟviƟes? Please select all that apply. Even though you don’t currently use, how do you anƟcipate that your use of social media for invesƟgaƟons and crime monitoring acƟviƟes will change in the next year or so?
  • 8. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 8 Users—social media in investigations Thevalueofsocialmediaininvestigations,bothnowandin thefuture, isclear. Lawenforcement professionalsalsohave noconcernsaroundtheethicsofcreatingfakevirtual identitiesasan investigativetechnique. 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Social media in crime fighƟng/invesƟgaƟve acƟviƟes will be criƟcally important in the future CreaƟng personas or profiles on social media outlets for use in law enforcement acƟviƟes is ethical Social media is a valuable tool in invesƟgaƟng crimes Percent Beliefs in Social Media Use Disagree Neutral Agree 8% 8% 84% 8% 9% 83% 7% 11% 82% BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purpose (988). Generally, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about social media, when you are invesƟgaƟng/monitoring/soliciƟng informaƟon on crimes? 1-7 scale, top 3: agree, boƩom 3: disagree.
  • 9. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 9 Thevalueofsocialmediainhelpingtosolvecrimesmorequickly, andassisting in crimeanticipation, isnot widely recognizedyet. Onlyhalfoflawenforcementprofessionalssaythosein commandpositionssupport theuseofsocial media. Additionally,credibilityofinformationobtainedviasocial mediaisperceivedtobelow. 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% InformaƟon obtained via social media can help me solve my invesƟgaƟons more quickly Social media is a valuable tool in anƟcipaƟng crimes Percent Beliefs in Social Media Use Disagree Neutral Agree 12% 21% 67% 17% 22% 61% BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purpose (988). Generally, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about social media, when you are invesƟgaƟng/monitoring/soliciƟng informaƟon on crimes? 1-7 scale, top 3: agree, boƩom 3: disagree. 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Those in command at my agency encourage and support the use of social media for invesƟgaƟon InformaƟon obtained via social media is credible Percent Beliefs in Social Media Use Disagree Neutral Agree 27% 21% 52% 26% 34% 40% BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purpose (988). Generally, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about social media, when you are invesƟgaƟng/monitoring/soliciƟng informaƟon on crimes? 1-7 scale, top 3: agree, boƩom 3: disagree.
  • 10. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 10 Two-thirdsoflawenforcementprofessionalsstatetheyarecomfortableusing social media, but theymaynot be using toitsfullestpotentialduetoalackofformaltraining. Socialmediaisfrequentlyusedforinvestigations, with nearlyhalfusing it at least weekly. Additionally, useofsocialmedia willgrow,with83%expectingtouseitevenmoreoverthenext year. 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% I am very comfortable using social media for invesƟgaƟve purposes • Comfort level decreases with age • 75% under age 35 agree, while only 62% over age 55 do. • Those that are “comfortable” are more likely to be self trained (73% vs. 64%) or have learned by through their personal usage of social media (73% vs. 64%). Percent Beliefs in Social Media Use Disagree Neutral Agree 14% 16% 70% BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purpose (988). Generally, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about social media, when you are invesƟgaƟng/monitoring/soliciƟng informaƟon on crimes? 1-7 scale, top 3: agree, boƩom 3: disagree. Expected Increase in Use Over Next 12 Months Stay about the same 16% Significantly decrease 1% Somewhat increase 44% Significantly increase 39% (Increase: 83%) Frequency of Use of Social Media in InvesƟgaƟons Less OŌen 21% Daily 16% 2-3 Ɵmes/month 31% 2-3 Ɵmes/week 32% (At least weekly: 48%) BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purpose (988). In the past 12 months, how oŌen did you use social media for invesƟgaƟons and crime monitoring acƟviƟes: Would you say it was...
  • 11. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 11 Lawenforcementprofessionalsarepredominantlyself-taught in using social mediaforinvestigationsandwill seek out colleagues,associationsandgeneralmediaasresources. Veryfewhavehadanyformal training. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Percent How Learned/Discovered How to Use Social Media in InvesƟgaƟons 70% 45% 45% 40% 40% 19% 19% 16% 10% 8% 2% Self-training by just geƫng on social media sites and navigaƟng around Brought knowledge from my use of social media for personal purposes Working with a colleague that uses social media for this purpose InformaƟon available on community sitesthat I parƟcipate in - i.e. PoliceOne, LawOfficer.com, etc. InformaƟon available in the general media or online Sessions at a seminar that I aƩended, in which social media use was one of the topics Training at a seminar or conference that was dedicated to using social media in law enforcement Self-driven training via differentassociaƟons I belong to - i.e. IACP Training given a my agency InformaƟon from differentvendorsIuse,suchas invesƟgaƟvesoluƟonsproviders Other (please specify) Self Taught Seek Resources Formal Training Other BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purpose (988). How did you learn or discover how to use social media in your invesƟgaƟons or crime monitoring acƟviƟes? Please select all that apply.
  • 12. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 12 Communal personal sites ,such as Facebook and YouTube are most used, whereas more tightly controlled sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs are used less often. Sites 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 80% 100% Percent How Learned/Discovered How to Use Social Media in InvesƟgaƟons 27% 28% 24% 13% 9% 12% 21% 26% 19% 21% 5% 7% 10% 19% 21% 5% 7% 10% 15% 62% 4% 9% 12% 23% 53% 3% 6% 9% 15% 68% Facebook YouTube Blogs TwiƩer MySpace LinkedIn Daily 2-3 Ɵmes/week 2-3 Ɵmes/month Less oŌen Never/Not Familiar/No Answer Not shown: Podcasts, Flickr, Nixie and Foursquare were unfamiliar to or not used by 70% or moreof parƟcipants. Google+ responses were problemaƟc, likely due to confusion with Google. BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purpose (988). While performing these types of law enforcements duƟes, how oŌen do you personally use any of the social media below? Please select one for each type of social media listed.
  • 13. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 13 Identifyingpeople,discoveringcriminalactivity,andgathering evidencearethetopsocial mediaactivities. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 90%80% Percent Types of InvesƟgaƟve AcƟviƟes Done Via Social Media 85% 76% 75% 66% 61% 54% 39% 31% 29% 23% 3% IdenƟfy persons ofinterest IdenƟfy criminal acƟvity IdenƟfy associates and acquaintances affiliated with persons of interest IdenƟfy locaƟon of criminal acƟvity Gather photos or statements to corroborate evidence IdenƟfy/monitor persons ofinterest’s whereabouts Understanding criminal networks SoliciƟng Ɵps on crimes AnƟcipaƟng crimes that may be occurring Use informaƟon from social media as probable cause for search warrants Other (please specify) Probable Cause in Court Not Challenged: 87% Challenged: 13% Upheld: 8% Varied: 5% Dismissed: <1% BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purpose (988). Please select the types of invesƟgaƟve acƟviƟes you conduct using social media. Select all that apply. BASE: InvesƟgaƟve purposes and used as probable cause (231). Has your use of social media informaƟon as probable cause for a search warrant ever been challenged in court?
  • 14. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 14 Storiesfromlawenforcementillustratehowsocial mediaisuseful tohelpsolvecrimes, frompinpointing criminals to obtainingproofofactivity. Evidence Collection “It is amazing that people still “brag” about their actions on social media sites. Yeah, even their criminal actions. Last week we had an Assault 2nd wherein the victim was struck with brass knuckles. The suspect denied involvement in a face to face interview, but his Facebook page had his claim of hurting a kid and believe it or not that he dumped the item in a trash can at a park. A little footwork around the parks in the area led to the brass knuckles being locating and information about the Facebook post had him confessing during a followup interview.” Criminal Location “I was looking for a suspect related to drug charges for over a month. When I looked him up on FB, and requested him as a friend from a fictitious profile, he accepted. He kept “checking in” everywhere he went so I was able to track him down very easily.” Criminal Identification “YouTube was used to assist in an investigation for the recruitment of gang members and promoting gang violence. A video that had known gang members rapping about shooting cops and name officers was located and resulted in the arrested of subjects involved.” Criminal Network Identification “Social media is a valuable tool because you are able to see the activities of a target in his comfortable stage. Targets brag and post illicit valuable information in reference to travel, hobbies, place visited, functions, appointments, circle of friends, family members, relationships, actions, etc. At times you can also get incriminating evidence in form of statements, pictures, and bragging.”
  • 15. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 15 Thesestoriesalsoillustratehowsocialmediacan beusedtoidentify, anticipate, andprevent crimes. Discover Criminal Activity and Obtain Probable Cause “An 18-month old baby was abused by her adoptive parents. Pictures of baby showing injuries from abuse were placed on Facebook by adoptive mother. The pictures along with other information was used to obtain a search warrant to seize computers and other electronic media, which in turn provided us with additional pictures of the baby and the abuse. This case has not gone to trial yet.” Manage Potentially Volatile Situations “Our most recent uses of social media have been in monitoring the potential civil disobedience/unrest anticipated in relation to contract negotiation impasse/strike and “Occupy” group activities. Monitoring organization efforts has helped us identify organizers quickly, allowing us an opportunity to make personal contact in “assisting them in organizing their event”. These early contacts have resulted in avoiding many of the problems that other jurisdictions have experienced.” Criminal Monitoring “I use it passively most of the time so that probationers are not aware that we use it. It is very useful to see who they are talking to and what about. Probationer’s “friends” are good contacts because even when a probationer is smart enough not to post things about their activities, their friends will.” Crime Prevention “Terroristic threat involving students in a local high school. Further investigation (utilizing Facebook) revealed the threats were credible and we conducted follow-up investigations which revealed a student intent on harming others (detailed emails and notebooks). The student was in the process of attempting to acquire weapons. It’s my belief we avoided a ‘Columbine’ type scenario.” Conclusion Theroleofsocialmediaininvestigationswillcontinuetogrowasthecriminalscontinuetousethesocial mediachannels tofurthertheircriminalenterpriseandsharetheircriminal escapades. Advancesin technologywill undoubtedlymake iteasieronlawenforcementtoleveragethisdataintotheirinvestigativeworkflowmoreefficientlyandeffectively. Trainingonthesetoolsandtechnologieswillalso becritical toensuring thisdataisusedtoitsfullest potential andina secure mannertoprotecttheofficerandtheagency.
  • 16. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 16 Appendix: Respondent Demographics Personal Characteristics Agency Characteristics Years of Experience Level <6 15% 11-15 22% 6-10 13% 15+ 50% Rank & File 55% Supervisory 39% Ancillary 6% Age <35 21% 55+ 10% 36-44 39% 45-54 29% Number of Sworn Personnel <50, 39% 50-249, 30% 1000+, 14% 500-999, 6% 250-499, 11% Agency Type State, 13% Local, 80%Federal, 7%
  • 17. Law Enforcement Personnel Use of Social Media in Investigations: Summary of Findings 17 Geographic Characteristics PopulaƟon Size <50K, 41% 51-100K, 17% >100K, 42% Region West, 29% South, 35% Midwest, 22% Notheast, 14%
  • 18. Tociteresultsofthissurvey,pleasereferenceas: LexisNexis® RiskSolutions.(2012).[SurveyofLawEnforcement Personnel and TheirUseofSocialMediainInvestigations]. www.lexisnexis.com/investigations. For more information: Call888.579.7638orvisit lexisnexis.com/government About LexisNexis® RiskSolutions LexisNexis Risk Solutions(www.lexisnexis.com/risk)isaleaderinprovidingessentialinformationthathelps customers across all industriesandgovernmentpredict,assessandmanagerisk.Combiningcutting-edge technology, unique dataandadvancedscoringanalytics,weprovideproductsandservicesthataddressevolving client needs in the risk sectorwhileupholdingthehigheststandardsofsecurityandprivacy.LexisNexisRisk Solutions is part ofReedElsevier,aleadingpublisherandinformationproviderthatservescustomersinmore than 100countries withmorethan30,000employeesworldwide. Our government solutionsassistlawenforcementandgovernmentagencieswithderivinginsightfromcomplex data sets, improving operationalefficiencies,makingtimelyandinformeddecisionstoenhanceinvestigations, increasing program integrity,anddiscoveringandrecoveringrevenue. LexisNexis andthe KnowledgeBurstlogoareregisteredtrademarksofReedElsevierPropertiesInc.,usedunderlicense.Otherproductsandservicesmaybetrademarksor registeredtrademarks oftheirrespectivecompanies.Copyright©2012LexisNexis.Allrightsreserved.NXR01882-00812