Computers and Technology in Law Enforcement and Investigations

Computers have transformed the world because analysis of problems can be done in a click of the mouse. Computers enhance efficiency and accuracy since computerized data can be verified easily without wasting a lot of time. Computers save on time since data get organized in a way such that it is easily accessible whenever needed, and it can be retrieved in less than a minute. This saved the world the hustle of perusing files manually in search of information. Investigations remain aided by computer technology hence making their results accurate and reliable. For example, finger print can be taken by computerized devices and the information stored in computers automatically (Volonino and Anzaldua, 2008, p 84). This information accessed by officers from investigation database and can help identify criminals from wherever they get arrested. All investigative departments need the finger print reading device to search for the records of arrested culprits. Investigations into crimes can be aided by technology, and the results obtained remain unquestionable and reliable. For example, police officers investigating organized crime can use suspects’ telephone number and track their calls on the day the crime got committed. This can reveal much since electronic data remain stored, and service providers can help retrieve it to the police.

Since computers aid police officers to extract missing evidence from electronic media, it goes with disadvantages which include invading privacy of computer owners subjected to forensic search. It is clear that the law requires suspected criminals to forfeit their privacy rights to give room for investigations. People put under investigations may be innocent hence their information gets invaded by law enforcers. This remains the principal hindrance to the use of technology in criminal investigations. Cost is another disadvantage of use of technology in investigations and law enforcement. This is because, law enforcers may be required to keep forensic laboratories with effective computers and other related devices (Jacko and Sears, 2003, p.47). Security of the information stored in computers in those laboratories is vital hence the cost of ensuring that the information is safe makes it extremely difficult. Data corruption can be exhibited, and this happens when law enforcers conspire to destroy vital information to satisfy their selfish interests. The information can be altered during the retrieving process leading to distorted information this occurs when officers retrieving hidden data lack the required competence. Data can be modified easily by the investigators hence closing the case without the attainment of justice.

There is a case where an employee used his knowledge of technology to steal from their employer. The employee studied the movements of the company’s boss, and on learning the dates he used to approve payments of salaries he planned to hack his passwords. The hacker was able to log into the administrators account whose password remains a secret only to the chief executive. He then sent an email to the banks authorizing transfer of funds to companies he claimed to be suppliers just like the boss does to other suppliers. Since the Bank had arrangements with the company to honor such email as the chief executive was the only person who could access that account, they transferred the money (Rennie, 2000, p.100). The employee and his accomplices then drained the cash from the fake suppliers account and abandoned them. At the end, of the month the company received bank statements and the chief executive got shocked to learn that money has been transferred to unknown people. On enquiring from the bank, he found that his account has been hacked, and he changed his passwords and reported the case to the police for further investigations.

There were crimes committed in series in town and residents raised an alarm when they suspected some foreigners within the town of carrying out the crimes. These crimes involved murder and robbery with violence, and they reported to the law enforcers who took action ultra-fast. On arresting the suspicious young men, they subjected them to investigations from which they learnt that they were foreigners in that town. They used their phone contacts and email addresses to carry out investigations on their activities in that town. The law enforcers contacted the telephone service providers and Internet providers to help them review some of the messages passed by the young men. The service providers provided printout for messages, and it was found that indeed they carried out crimes under directions from other people within, and outside the town. They reported their achievements and received further directions on an everyday basis. The police arrested all the involved persons hence completing their investigations (Hunt and Touzel, 2009, p. 78).

The use of technology and computers in law enforcement is particularly crucial as time for attainment of justice reduce. It has saved the costs of travelling to report crimes or incidences as phone calls can alert the law enforcers within seconds. Cases of missing files for cases reduced with the use of computers because every file can be located easily by typing the first letter of the suspects or victim’s name. Therefore, all governments should support and ensure technology advancements in law enforcement departments.


Hunt G. and Touzel, T.J. (2009). Effective Teaching: Preparation and Implementation, Houston: Charles C Thomas Publisher.

Jacko, J. A. and Sears, A. (2003).The human-computer interaction handbook: fundamentals, evolving technologies, London: Routledge.

Rennie, M-T. M. (2000). “Computer and Telecommunications Law Review“, Volume 5, London: Sweet & Maxwell.

Volonino,L. and Anzaldua, R, (2008).Computer forensics for dummies, USA: John Wiley & Sons.

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