Blue Line

2024 industry trends survey reveals urgent digital challenges in law enforcement

November 13, 2023  By Cellebrite

Nov. 13, 2023, Tysons Corner, VA – Cellebrite has released critical insights in its 2024 Industry Trends Survey for the Public Sector. Now in its fifth year, the survey findings reveal the urgent need for agencies to digitally transform key workflows to address severe staffing shortages and a growing volume of evidence.

The survey gathered insights from 2,000 law enforcement leaders and practitioners, and underscores challenges in device access, data extraction, evidence management and analysis. A notable majority report increased overtime and insufficient training to tackle digitally driven crimes. Disturbingly, many still rely on outdated paper-based reviews or manual digital tools, resulting in a staggering 45 hours typically spent reviewing digital evidence per case. With three out of four practitioners agreeing digital evidence is pivotal in case resolution, it is critical for agencies to adopt technologies that will transform their workflows, increase productivity and create efficiencies to solve cases faster, smarter and more defensibly.

Key survey revelations include:

  • Increase in evidence sources: significant YoY increase from cryptocurrency, car infotainment systems and wearables
  • Examiner reports to investigators: In 2021, it took an average of six days for investigators to receive an extraction report from examiners, which has now increased to 14 days
  • Evidence handling: 75 to 80 per cent agencies use portable drives or USB sticks for evidence, risking chain-of-custody breaches
  • Growing backlogs: 52 per cent see worsening case backlogs year-on-year
  • Evidence sources expand: Smartphones dominate, but cryptocurrency, cars and wearables are on the rise
  • Digital evidence power: 60 per cent of practitioners deem digital evidence has more impact on case resolution than DNA
  • Evidence delays: 75 per cent of investigators note device analysis can exceed two weeks, even in high profile cases
  • Tech’s role: 65 per cent of agency managers believe technology can alleviate staffing strains

The annual survey includes respondents from North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. To view the full survey results, please click here.

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