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Trends in Organized Crime
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.26
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 509  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1936-4830 - ISSN (Online) 1084-4791
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2352 journals]
  • Intergenerational transmission and organised crime. A study of seven
           families in the south of the Netherlands
    • Abstract: Kinship ties play an important role in organised crime, but little attention has been paid as yet to criminal families and intergenerational transmission of delinquent behaviour as well as criminal ‘leadership.’ This paper presents the results of an in-depth study of seven families in the south of the Netherlands that produced a leader of a criminal group in at least one generation. In almost every generation, most male and female members of these families have criminal records, but intergenerational transmission of criminal leadership has so far occurred in only two families. There is a range of risk factors that promote criminal behaviour across generations, but an important explanation is that family members select their partners and friends from their own closed and deviant subcultures, and seem to favour those who have already developed criminal track records. Apart from risk factors at the individual, family and social environment levels, criminal behaviour was also stimulated by the seven families quickly taking advantage of emerging crime markets, particularly ecstasy production and indoor cannabis cultivation from the 1990s onwards.
      PubDate: 2019-03-19
  • Organised crime in Latin America: an introduction to the special issue
    • Abstract: This article provides an introduction to the articles submitted to the special issue of Trends in Organised Crime on ‘Organised Crime in Latin America’. The aim of the special issue is to draw together novel empirical research findings and theoretical accounts on various aspects of organised crime in the particular geographic context.
      PubDate: 2019-03-08
  • Criminal procedure reform and the impact on homicide: evidence from Mexico
    • Abstract: While significant efforts have been made to reform the criminal justice system across Latin America, we do not know the conditions under which reform effectively deters homicide, one of many goals of the reform. Drawing on a novel sub-national design in Mexico, I find that criminal procedure reforms aimed at improving due process are not sufficient for deterring homicide in places where non-state actors (i.e. drug cartels) effectively challenge the state’s monopoly of violence. I argue that in these settings, citizens are less willing to cooperate with the formal system of justice - despite reform efforts. Without society cooperation, the prosecution is less equipped to investigate, prosecute, and solve crime, resulting in impunity and little deterrence. Importantly, where the state maintains its monopoly of violence, reform is associated with less homicide. In selecting remedies to combat violent crime, therefore, different communities need to pursue different strategies, suggesting that the State can deter violence through fairness.
      PubDate: 2019-03-04
  • Russia’s Night Wolves Motorcycle Club: from 1%ers to political
    • Abstract: In the late 2000s, the Night Wolves Motorcycle Club, Russia’s largest motorcycle organization, became closely intertwined with the Kremlin’s domestic and international agendas, although only a decade ago they protested against the Soviet establishment and called for freedom and democracy. This article traces the ideological development of the Night Wolves, explores the nature of their relationship with the Kremlin, and evaluates their role in President Vladimir Putin’s sistema—a system of governance grounded on informal mechanisms of power distribution and personalized loyalties. In addition, the article analyzes the activities of the Night Wolves in Ukraine and their role in the consolidation of pro-Russian forces and propagation of Kremlin-designed narratives.
      PubDate: 2019-03-01
  • Preventing organised crime originating from outlaw motorcycle clubs
    • Abstract: How can a holistic model of crime prevention be applied to crime originating from outlaw motorcycle clubs' The police in different countries and even in different police districts have varied considerably in the ways they have dealt with these outlaw MC clubs and the criminal activities associated with them. Some police forces have mainly applied a repressive criminal justice approach whereas others have put more emphasis on dialogue, prevention and harm reduction. This article will argue for a comprehensive approach which combines “soft” and “hard” measures, based on a holistic model of crime prevention developed in my previous works (Bjørgo 2013, 2016), based on nine preventive mechanisms. Several preventive actors beyond the police possess a variety of measures which can be implemented to activate these preventive mechanisms. Such a holistic approach reduces the need to rely on repressive approaches alone. Most of the examples in this article are from Norway and Denmark.
      PubDate: 2019-03-01
  • Not your average biker; criminal careers of members of Dutch outlaw
           motorcycle gangs
    • Abstract: Based on criminal career data of a sample of 601 police-identified outlaw motorcycle gang members and an age-matched comparison group of 300 non-gang affiliated motorcycle owners, the current analysis examines various dimensions of the criminal careers of outlaw bikers, including participation, onset, frequency, and crime mix. Results show that Dutch outlaw bikers are more often convicted than the average Dutch motorcyclist, and that these convictions not only pertain to minor offenses but also to serious and violent crimes. We find that outlaw bikers’ criminal careers differ from that of the average Dutch motorcyclist already during the juvenile and early adult years, but also – and more so – during the adult years. These results fit the enhancement hypothesis of gang membership and suggest that both selection of crime prone individuals in outlaw motorcycle gangs and facilitation of criminal behavior whilst in the gang are taking place.
      PubDate: 2019-03-01
  • Policing bikers: confrontation or dialogue'
    • Abstract: This article deals with the policing of biker groups in Norway. It describes the two idealtypical approaches of dialogue and confrontation. It tries to explain why the police use certain methods. It finds that policing is rarely based on knowledge of what works or the causes of a problem. Instead the approaches chosen seem to reflect certain styles of policing described in cultural studies of the police.
      PubDate: 2019-03-01
  • Organizing on two wheels: uncovering the organizational patterns of Hells
           Angels MC in Sweden
    • Abstract: During the last decades, Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs (OMCs) have become a concern for crime prevention and law enforcement agencies. The general perception of OMCs is ambiguous. They are seen either as highly structured criminal organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs for conducting sophisticated criminal enterprises, or as clubs built around the camaraderie of freedom-seeking bikers. Using unique Swedish longitudinal data on gang membership and co-offending patterns, we study the organizational dynamics of Hells Angels MC Sweden and its sub-organizations Red & White Crew and Red Devils MC. Our results reveal a complex picture. Co-offending network patterns and offense type distributions vary for each sub-organization, indicating potential differences in organizational dynamics. Red & White Crew has features that are more similar to street gangs than OMCs, and Red Devils MC has a more decentralized and chapter-based pattern of criminal collaboration than Hells Angels MC. Besides increasing our understanding of OMC collaboration structure, our results have implications for crime prevention strategies. We suggest that social responses and law enforcement efforts should take into account the heterogeneity of OMCs in order to avoid counterproductive consequences in terms of increased group cohesiveness.
      PubDate: 2019-03-01
  • Combating trafficking of Hungarian women to Western Europe: a multi-level
           analysis of the international law enforcement cooperation
    • Authors: Noemi Katona
      Abstract: Human trafficking is an increasing field of academic research, but the obstacles of investigation and prosecution of traffickers is still under-researched. This article analyses the challenges of prosecution of criminal groups facilitating the prostitution of Hungarian women to Western European countries by focusing on international cooperation of law enforcement agencies. Although the scientific literature mostly focuses on the influence of international agreements on national level policing, based on a multilevel analysis, the current article scrutinizes the organizational and individual dimensions in transnational policing and the implementation of the anti-trafficking measures in practice. Despite the aims of the global prohibition regime, victim-focus approach in human trafficking remains neglected by large  in the Hungarian practice. The article is based on structured interviews with members of law enforcement agencies, observation of court trials, legal documents and secondary written sources on the investigation of organized crime in Hungary.
      PubDate: 2019-02-13
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-019-09358-7
  • Recent publications on organized crime (2019–1)
    • Authors: Klaus von Lampe
      PubDate: 2019-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-019-09360-z
  • Public nuisance, public enemy, public servant' Introduction to the
           special issue on outlaw bikers in Europe
    • Authors: Klaus von Lampe
      Abstract: This essay presents an introduction to the special issue on outlaw motorcycle clubs in Europe. Apart from providing an overview of the papers contained in the special issue, it presents a classificatory scheme for the analysis of the links between outlaw biker clubs-also known as outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs)-and crime. Against the backdrop of the history of the outlaw biker subculture in Europe, this paper proposes a five-fold typology of criminal activities that can potentially by ascribed to biker clubs as organizational entities, and it presents three different scenarios for an overlap of criminal structures and the formal structure of an outlaw biker club.
      PubDate: 2019-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-019-09359-6
  • Country report on extortion racketeering in the hospitality sector –
           United Kingdom
    • PubDate: 2019-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-019-09361-y
  • The rise of shaming paternalism in Japan: recent tendencies in the
           Japanese criminal justice system
    • Abstract: The ‘reintegrative shaming’ and ‘benevolent paternalism’ models, traditionally used to describe the Japanese criminal justice system, have been periodically criticised for their orientalist approach. Nevertheless, no critique addressed the fact that these models ignored the presence of long-lasting crime syndicates, the yakuza, in Japan. Meanwhile, since 1991 the Japanese government has passed different sets of anti-yakuza countermeasures, increasingly punitive towards members and ex-members of the criminal group, that transferred more policing and surveillance duties to common citizens. In light of the evolution of anti-yakuza countermeasures in the past 25 years, this article argues that an analysis of these laws and regulations can provide a chance to reappraise the ‘reintegrative shaming/benevolent paternalism’ models, and proposes ‘shaming paternalism’ as a more realistic description of the current Japanese criminal justice system. According to this model, criminals are shamed and struggle to reintegrate, and the state’s intrusiveness is operated at various stages. Given the gap in English-speaking literature regarding this topic, firstly the contents of anti-yakuza countermeasures are outlined, followed by an evaluation of their effects on the yakuza population. The levels of reintegration of ex-yakuza members are considered, corroborating the hypothesis that the contemporary Japanese criminal justice system is not focussed on reintegration: actually, the most recent tendencies show an increase in punitiveness and stigmatisation. The paper argues that this trend can be understood as an index of increasing authoritarianism in the Japanese government, and concludes that civil engagement is the only viable option of resistance.
      PubDate: 2019-01-23
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-019-09357-8
  • Is drawing from the state ‘state of the art’': a review of
           organised crime research data collection and analysis, 2004–2018
    • Authors: James Windle; Andrew Silke
      Abstract: This paper presents a systematic review of organised crime data collection and analysis methods. It did this by reviewing all papers published in Trends in Organized Crime and Global Crime between 2004 and 2018 (N = 463). The review identified a number of key weaknesses. First, organised crime research is dominated by secondary data analysis of open-access documents, and documents are seldom subjected to the same principles guiding primary data collection methods. Second, data analysis lacked balance with a distinct lack of inferential statistical analysis. Third, there was a significant absence of victim or offender voices with an overreliance on data from state bodies and the media. The paper concludes that organised crime, as field of research, appears unbalanced by reliance upon a small number of methods and sources. Rebalancing the field requires more organised crime researchers to speak to offenders and victims, employ greater use of statistical analysis and tighten our methodologies.
      PubDate: 2019-01-08
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9356-5
  • Criminal organizing applying the theory of partial organization to four
           cases of organized crime
    • Authors: Amir Rostami; Hernan Mondani; Fredrik Liljeros; Christofer Edling
      Pages: 315 - 342
      Abstract: We explore how the idea of partial organization can provide insights in the study of organized crime. Studying criminal organizing with a theoretical framework used for other social organizing phenomena can help us see the interplay between different forms of criminal collaboration under a single analytical lens, and start a discussion on whether criminal organizing is intrinsically different from other types of social organizing. We analyze four cases of criminal collaboration in Sweden between 1990 and 2015: the Syriac mafia, the Hells Angels Mc Sweden, the street gang Werewolf Legion, and the Hallunda robbery. While the outlaw motorcycle gang, and to a certain extent the street gang, are complete organizations, the mafia is based around and heavily parasitic on other institutions. We have also shown that time-bounded projects are found in the criminal context, with these emerging from strong network relations. Our results show that most of the elements of criminal organizing are not formalized and that partial organization is at least as important and powerful as complete organization.
      PubDate: 2018-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9315-6
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018)
  • Gangs in the DRC and El Salvador: towards a third generation of gang
           violence interventions'
    • Authors: Ellen Van Damme
      Pages: 343 - 369
      Abstract: The phenomenon of gangs in El Salvador and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has already been researched, but a comparative study of gangs and gang policies is lacking. In this paper we discuss several gang violence prevention initiatives regarding the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 in El Salvador, and the kuluna and bashege in Kinshasa, DRC. In order to analyze the different gang interventions, we implement the typology of first and second gang violence prevention initiatives (Rodgers et al. 2009), and propose the evolution towards a third generation of gang violence prevention interventions. While first generation initiatives are security and law-enforcement driven, and second generation initiatives socio-preventive driven, third generation initiatives are more politically driven. The latter indicates a shift towards a vision of dialogue and negotiations to deal with gang violence. However, the different generations are not predefined within time and third generation initiatives can also be followed up by first generation initiatives, which was for example the case in the gang truce in El Salvador. Also, comparative gang research includes challenges, especially when the gang phenomenon in one country is better researched and documented than in other countries. As such, we were unable to identify politically-driven initiatives in the DRC to compare with the ones in El Salvador. Further research is thus required. With this paper we not only aim to contribute to the literature on gang violence prevention and reduction initiatives, we also want to push researchers, practitioners and policymakers to look beyond the borders when setting up gang (violence) prevention and rehabilitation projects, and to learn from other regions where similar initiatives have been implemented to deal with comparable issues of gang violence.
      PubDate: 2018-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9316-5
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018)
  • Human trafficking and criminal proceedings in Portugal: discourses of
           professionals in the justice system
    • Authors: Marlene Matos; Mariana Gonçalves; Ângela Maia
      Pages: 370 - 400
      Abstract: Since the adoption of the UN Trafficking Protocol in 2000, the predominant approach to combat human trafficking has been based on the criminalization of traffickers in conjunction with a concern for victims’ protection. However, few empirical studies considered the effectiveness of those measures, which makes it difficult to understand why criminal cases of human trafficking generally result in few convictions. In Portugal, recent legislative changes have made the legal framework on human trafficking more comprehensive, inclusive and convergent with European directives. The effects of the implementation of those legislative changes on investigation and prosecution are still overlooked. The present study analyses the discourses of justice system professionals that concern the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. It examines and identifies the factors that, in their perspective, block the recognition of the typifying elements of the crime of human trafficking and create obstacles to the prosecution and conviction of those crimes. Our findings suggest that legislative advances recognized by the participants need to be accompanied by other changes, some of a more systemic nature and others that are more specific. An efficient criminal procedure should include better legal phrasing of the means of evidence of human trafficking that is supported by objective instruments for this to be considered valid; the centralization of proof that the testimony of the victim has to overcome; specialized professional training of an ongoing nature; an efficient cooperation between the various law enforcement agencies at the national and international levels, with public prosecution services and magistrates; a greater clarification of the condition of the special vulnerability of victims and an informed perspective regarding the global nature of the phenomenon of human trafficking, one that is also sensitive towards the victim (e.g., in relation to the victims’ vulnerability, illegal status, and their difficulties in terms of social and cultural integration).
      PubDate: 2018-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9317-4
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018)
  • EULEX and the fight against organised crime in Kosovo: what’s the
    • Authors: Joschka J. Proksik
      Pages: 401 - 425
      Abstract: Staffed by international police officers, prosecutors and judges, EULEX was mandated to strengthen Kosovo’s domestic rule-of-law institutions and endowed with executive authority to ensure that high-level criminal cases, including organised crime, are properly investigated and prosecuted. Yet, after more than nine years of operation, EULEX has proven largely ineffective in using its executive authority to counter organised crime and its capacity-building efforts have not led to significant local improvements in this area. Insufficient framework conditions shaped by years of impunity for politico-criminal power structures prevent capacity-building efforts from taking effect as local rule-of-law institutions remain hesitant and timid to investigate and prosecute high-level criminals. It is argued that EULEX’s own conduct and weak executive performance has severely undermined the mission’s efforts to strengthen local law enforcement through capacity-building.
      PubDate: 2018-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9321-8
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 4 (2018)
  • Alexandra Hall and Georgios Antonopoulos: Fake meds online: the internet
           and the transnational market in illicit pharmaceuticals
    • Authors: Thomas Raymen
      PubDate: 2018-11-15
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9355-6
  • Brazilian criminal organizations as transnational violent non-state
           actors: a case study of the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC)
    • Authors: Marcos Alan S. V. Ferreira
      Abstract: This article aims to analyze the evolution of Brazilian criminal organization Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC—First Command of the Capital), especially its transformation from a group advocating human rights to a transnational violent non-state actor. Created in the late 1990s by inmates at Taubate Prison, PCC is currently a key trigger of violence in South America. Since a massive attack performed in 2006 against security forces, the group continues to be highly operative, also coordinating drugs and arms smuggling in Brazil and abroad. A combination of sources supported this analysis of PCC’s evolution, mainly Brazilian official judicial minutes, NGOs reports, and news released from reputable sources. The article shows that PCC has gained strength in the 2010s, expanding illicit business operations in cooperation with other criminal groups. The results suggest that PCC’s expansion has changed significantly since their beginnings, into an actor that poses a challenge for the building of peaceful society in all of South America.
      PubDate: 2018-11-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9354-7
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