This toolkit was designed to help law enforcement agencies improve their response to and investigations of identity crimes. These crimes are serious, growing and complex, but local law enforcement has a fairly straightforward role to play in helping to reduce and minimize damages to victims. Safeguarding our nation’s citizens from identity crimes and restoring victims who have suffered from them depends entirely upon the law enforcement organization’s preparation of its officers to respond, investigate and assist victims.
If there is one simple take away from this toolkit, the IACP and Bank of America hope it will be that law enforcement agencies know to take the report when victims come with a complaint or suspicion of identity crime. This one simple step can alleviate a lot of suffering as well as position investigators within many agencies for better outcomes in finding and prosecuting offenders.
The true test of success and accomplishment for any investigator is not the methods they use but what is accomplished.
When responding to identity crime cases the investigators must stay current and use latest research, resources and shared intelligence. Together, these will lead to the success that the officer and victim both want.
Be sure that your department stands ready to:
- Take the report.
- Obtain high quality information about the crime.
- Amend department policies to encourage victim assistance.
- Become knowledgeable about state and federal laws relating to identity crime.
- Increase the skills and knowledge of law enforcement personnel.
- Cooperate with financial institutions.
- Recognize that identity crimes are frequently just a part of a much more serious problem.
Taking these steps will reduce the overall losses and victimizations in your communities and also will help your agency to step up and meet the challenges posed by crime in the information age.
This toolkit is just one of the many resources that the IACP and Bank of America have created to help bolster that response at the local level. Law enforcement agencies are the first line of defense and recovery in this area, and we look forward to identifying new ways to work together to protect citizens and our communities. Share your ideas, and learn more about how to solve these problems at www.idsafety.org.