A new unit at the University of East London will investigate young people’s pathways into cybercrime as part of a ground-breaking research centre that focuses on “human factors” behind cybercrime and online harms.
The Unit launched at the House of Lords on 23 January 2020 and was opened by Baroness Thornton. (Pictured: Dr Sarah Fox, Baroness Thornton, Vice Chancellor and President Amanda Broderick, and criminology professor Julia Davidson.)
The Online Harms and Cyber Crime Unit will explore key emergent issues such as: The way in which young people become drawn into illegal online behaviour; child online protection and the risks; challenges and opportunities to Law Enforcement Agencies of developing technologies.
The Unit will also examine the psychology of cybercrime, cyberstalking, hacking and organised crime, as well as the implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Academics plan to investigate the links between offline and online crime and consider the human impact of a variety of types of offending, including financial.
They hope the research will help the police, criminal justice system and other agencies respond to future threats by understanding criminal behaviour and criminal opportunities presented by future technologies.
The centre, based at the University’s Stratford campus, will be directed by criminology professor Julia Davidson and the policing lead, Dr Sarah Fox, who have both conducted extensive research in the UK, EU and internationally focussing upon young people's online protection and wellbeing, as well as the legal/development and use of the Internet/digital and cyber environment.
Professor Davidson’s recent research has led to the development of a child online protection policy and implementation plan in Rwanda (End Violence Against Children); underpinned the Government Online Harms White Paper (DCMS); and, explores child abuse online offending contexts to inform policy and practice in the UK (Home Office).
Professor Davidson explained, that