Technology is now ubiquitous and the Internet specifically is an increasingly pervasive phenomenon. As of October 2018 almost 4.2 billion people are online  representing over 58% of the world's population - importantly over 70% of the world's youth population are now online . Whilst the Internet offers abundant opportunities for education, networking and communication as an information superhighway, it can also manifest risk particularly regarding criminal activity, which in turn has implications for the study of criminal behaviour, organisation and networks.
There remain challenges for academia, police, policymakers, statutory authorities, individuals and society. This necessitates the need to understand the means, motive, opportunity  and behaviour concerning today's cyber and digital world in the same way offline crime, risks and challenges are all studied. This therefore includes the policing and governance of cyberspace as well as the use of digital technology for ensuring an orderly and safe society. 
Since 2014 Europol has recognised that there is a "dynamic relationship between online and offline organised crime." Interpol has highlighted that "new trends in cybercrime are emerging all the time", with estimated costs to the global economy running to billions of pounds.  Therefore as the barriers to crime participation and syndication online have reduced, there has been a corresponding increase in online crime.
The ecosystem of Cyberspace represents a relatively new criminal domain that allows old forms of crime to take new forms, such as cyberfraud while, at the same time, enabling new types of criminal behaviour such as hacking. Police and other agencies are likewise utilising digital technology and other devices to address these threats and challenges. There is a need to consider the impact of this environment in a developmental context, for example emerging criminal phenomena such as cyber juvenile delinquency. 
In terms of victimology there is a need to consider the impact of this environment on vulnerable and high risk populations. This is required in order to understand modus operandi in this space as offline criminal theories or motivations may not apply. Ongoing, high quality research is needed to evaluate the threats, measure the cost, consider the human impact and to devise means for preventing, deterring future harms and bringing offender to trial, whilst also supporting the victims.
 Fundamentals of Digital Forensics: Theory, Methods, and Real-Life Applications
 Fox, S. J. (2018) Policing - the technological revolution: Opportunities & Challenges! ….. Technology in Society
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2018.09.006 (linked to presentations at the UN WSIS March 2018 and ICCC India, November 2018)
 Ref; Aiken, M.P., & Mc Mahon, C.(2014). The Cyberpsychology of Internet Facilitated Organised Crime, Europol Organised Crime Threat Assessment Report (iOCTA). Retrieved November 11
 Aiken, M. P., Davidson, J., Amann, P. (2016) 'Youth Pathways into Cybercrime' (Report).