Can Calgary's Coffers Support Cyber-Crime Defence?

With a department already facing a heavy workload and a growing number of cases pouring in daily, the Cybercrime Support Team, a unit within the Calgary Police Service, has raised concerns about its effectiveness in identifying and pursuing targets for criminal investigations related to online and computer-assisted crimes.

"Our cyber-crime area is already stretched to the limit because the use of technology to commit continuing to grow," said Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson in an interview with the national news service Metro.

To combat the personnel and budget shortfalls the department claims to be contending with, they have begun making inroads with other Calgary organizations and businesses to gain private assistance in the completion of their public duties.

"It's kind of a bit of a roadshow that we've gone on where we're speaking to members of corporate Calgary and others about how we can better exchange information," says Staff Sgt. Ryan Jepson, who oversees the Cybercrime Support Team.

In addition to Calgary's corporate citizens, Jepson's team has also reached out to experts at the University of Calgary to help develop more streamlined and efficient tools for identifying the original sources of cyber crimes, and tracking the physical locations of criminal suspects.

Whether these new partnerships will help reduce the burden on the department, and what these associations and techniques mean in terms of the legality of cybercrime investigations and criminal defence based on unreasonable searches, remains to be seen.