Cellebrite’s 2024 Industry Trends Survey Reveals Urgent Digital Challenges in Law Enforcement
November 2023 by Cellebrite
Cellebrite DI Ltd. unveils the critical insights from 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, gathering insights from 2,000 law enforcement leaders and practitioners, 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 Disturbingly, many still rely on outdated paper-based reviews or manual digital tools, resulting in a staggering 45 hours typically spent reviewing digital evidence per case.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.
“Technology has changed the nature of crime,” says Steve Foster, Special Agent in Charge at the Georgia Bureau of Investigations whose unit utilizes Cellebrite technology to solve crimes. “We need the tools and people in place to be able to work through the challenges.”
“Digital evidence continues to play an important role in modern investigations. As criminal technology evolves, it is that much more critical agencies are equipped with the tools, solutions and training needed to identify and analyze all case data,” said Leeor Ben-Peretz, Chief Strategy Officer, Cellebrite. “This year’s survey validates our commitment to supporting agencies through their digital transformations, help them manage their growing caseloads, and reduce investigator and examiner fatigue.”
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: 75-80% agencies use portable drives or USB sticks for evidence, risking chain-of-custody breaches
• Growing Backlogs: 52% 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% of practitioners deem digital evidence has more impact on case resolution than DNA
• Evidence Delays: 75% of investigators note device analysis can exceed two weeks, even in high profile cases
• Tech’s Role: 65% 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.