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Oxford University Press - Online Resource Centres

Hale et al: Criminology 3e

Chapter 12: Chapter synopses

Cybercrime costs the economy billions.  The most recent figures reported in 2011 by The Office of Cyber Security and Detica outline that the annual cost to the UK economy was ?27 billion (Detica and Cabinet Office, 2011).  Cybercrime has a global nature and similar estimates have been made in most other countries.  While everyone agrees that cybercrimes are one of the greatest crime challenges, few seem to agree what they are, how many there are, how they actually impact upon society and what is to be done about them (Wall, 2007).

This chapter is divided into six parts.

This chapter examines cybercrime, its contemporary manifestations and what it means for criminology. Part one maps the evolution of the internet as an environment for the emergence of cybercrime. The second part dwells upon the various conflicting definitional problems of cybercrime and offers a method of resolving them. The third part of the chapter outlines the problems with measuring cybercrime before providing an indication of the scale of the problem. The fourth part briefly explores how those problems are being resolved. The fifth part looks at the governance and regulation of cybercrime, while the final section provides an overview of the various theoretical explanations.