Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Policing Identity Crimes

Wall, D.S.


D.S. Wall


Identity-related crimes pose a significant problem to both the UK economy and also its citizens because they cause estimated annual losses of around £1.5billion. Not only do identity crimes cause considerable public concern, but they also create challenges for policing them; not least, because policing responses, in the broader regulatory sense, are often over-reactive or take the form of dramatic Public Relations gestures rather than coherent policing policy. Yet, the realities of identity-related crimes are quite different from the ways that they are perceived and even more important is that fact that this difference presents many challenges for those whose job is to ‘police’ them. This article will look at what identity crimes are and at the very real problems they pose for policing them as non-routine policing activities. The article will, firstly, map out identity crimes and outline the behaviours that we understand as identity crimes and their core characteristics. It will then consider how the characteristics map onto traditional police practice and consider some of the ways that the challenges have been addressed.


Wall, D. (2013). Policing Identity Crimes. Policing and Society, 23(4), 437-460.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 17, 2013
Journal Policing and Society
Print ISSN 1043-9463
Electronic ISSN 1477-2728
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 4
Pages 437-460
Keywords Identity crime, Identity theft, Identity fraud, Policing cybercrime, Policing cybercrimes, Social network crime.