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Trends in Organized Crime
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.26
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 497  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1936-4830 - ISSN (Online) 1084-4791
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2351 journals]
  • Diamonds, gold and crime displacement: Hatton Garden, and the evolution of
           organised crime in the UK
    • Authors: Paul Lashmar; Dick Hobbs
      Pages: 104 - 125
      Abstract: The 2015 Hatton Garden Heist was described as the ‘largest burglary in English legal history’. However, the global attention that this spectacular crime attracted to ‘The Garden’ tended to concentrate upon the value of the stolen goods and the vintage of the burglars. What has been ignored is how the burglary shone a spotlight into Hatton Garden itself, as an area with a unique ‘upperworld’ commercial profile and skills cluster that we identify as an incubator and facilitator for organised crime. The Garden is the UK’s foremost jewellery production and retail centre and this paper seeks to explore how Hatton Garden’s businesses integrated with a fluid criminal population to transition, through hosting lucrative (and bureaucratically complex) VAT gold frauds from 1980 to the early 1990s, to become a major base for sophisticated acquisitive criminal activities. Based on extensive interviews over a thirty year period, evidence from a personal research archive and public records, this paper details a cultural community with a unique criminal profile due to the particularities of its geographical location, ethnic composition, trading culture, skills base and international connections. The processes and structures that facilitate criminal markets are largely under-researched (Antonopoulos et al. 2015: 11), and this paper considers how elements of Hatton Garden’s ‘upperworld’ businesses integrated with project criminals, displaced by policing strategies, to effect this transition.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9320-9
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 2 (2018)
  • Situating gangs within Scotland’s illegal drugs market(s)
    • Authors: Robert McLean; James A. Densley; Ross Deuchar
      Pages: 147 - 171
      Abstract: The Scottish government’s (2008) publication ‘The road to recovery: A new approach to tackling Scotland’s drug problem’ elaborates and outlines the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) desire to make Scotland ‘drug free’ by 2019. To achieve this objective, the Scottish Government’s (2015) ‘Serious Organised Crime Strategy’ (SSOCS) entails dismantling networks of drug supply. Yet missing from this strategic planning is a) recognition of how, if at all, different types of gangs are involved in drug supply, and b) how drug supply processes actually work. Therefore, this article seeks to extend McLean’s (J Deviant Behav, 2017) Scottish gang model, which specifies a typology of gangs in Scotland, in an effort to locate precise levels of gang involvement in the drugs market. This is achieved by drawing upon Pearson and Hobbs’ (2001) hierarchical model of the UK’s illegal drug(s) market. In-depth interviews with 35 offenders involved in criminal networks and five practitioners, indicate that recreational Youth Street Gangs are really only involved in ‘social supply’. Youth Criminal Gangs are primarily involved in commercially motivated dealing at the low- to mid-levels, including bulk-buying between the retail-to-wholesale markets. And enterprising Serious Organised Crime Gangs operate from the middle-to-apex market level. Conclusions which situate this gang typology within the illegal drug market(s) are used to put forward recommendations aimed at dismantling of drug supply networks.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9328-1
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 2 (2018)
  • Examining the demographic profile and attitudes of citizens, in areas
           where organized crime groups proliferate
    • Authors: Stuart Kirby; Michelle McManus; Laura Boulton
      Pages: 172 - 188
      Abstract: Whilst studies refer to the community impact of Organized Crime (OC), no survey currently exists to examine the views of those citizens who reside in areas where Organized Crime Groups (OCGs) proliferate. 431 questionnaires from households co-existing in high density OCGs areas were analysed in relation to: a) demographic information; b) views on the community and the police; and c) how they expected other residents to react to illegal incidents. Overall respondents thought the average citizen would refuse to intervene in 10% - 48% of illegal incidents, with the specific case influencing whether and how they would respond. The analysis then compared three communities who lived in high density OCG areas with a control community (n = 343). The ‘OCG’ communities were more likely to report low collective efficacy and were generally least likely to expect their neighbours to confront a crime in action. Conversely, whilst the control group showed higher levels of collective efficacy and expected the average resident to be more likely in confronting illegal behaviour, this trend did not extend to street drug dealing and serious crime associated with OC. The study discusses the unreported intimidation associated with OCGs and the challenges of policing hostile environments.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9326-3
      Issue No: Vol. 21, No. 2 (2018)
  • Performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) producers and suppliers: a
           retrospective content analysis of PIED-provider cases in Australia from
    • Authors: Katinka van de Ven; Matthew Dunn; Kyle Mulrooney
      Abstract: Traditionally policymakers have paid little attention to the consumption of steroids and other performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) in Australia. Yet, in recent times PIEDs have come to occupy an increasing amount of discursive space and, indeed, regulatory action. This newfound interest may be attributed to several broader developments, not least the perception of the involvement of organized crime in distributing PIEDs to the professional sports world and other sectors of this illicit market. This paper seeks to explore the empirical reality of the claim that the production and supply of PIEDs in Australia is the prerogative of organized crime groups. A retrospective content analysis of Australian PIED provider cases was conducted between 2010 and 2016. To widen our search, both media articles describing court cases, obtained from the Factiva database, and public online court records, using the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) database, were searched. Search terms included “steroid*”, “doping” and “testosterone” in combination with the terms “traffic*”, “production”, “supply*” and “import*”. In total, 477 PIED provider cases were identified yet most cases were duplicates, irrelevant or lacked sufficient detail, resulting in a final dataset of 144 cases. A coding schedule was developed based on existing PIED supply literature. Our data shows that most PIED provider cases took place in Queensland (41.7%), followed by New South Wales (25%) and Victoria (13.2%). Regarding the type of providers, the largest group consisted of people active in the gym industry (22%), followed by the healthcare sector (17%), the ‘other’ category (12%) and the security sphere (8%). Of the 144 steroid-provider cases, only 12% of the cases indicated the potential involvement of organized crime groups, with half of those being linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs. In contrast to the claims of authorities, our data suggests that organized crime groups currently play a proportionally small role in the illicit production and supply of steroids and other performance and image enhancing drugs in Australia. Indeed, various actors are involved of which only a small fraction are part of or involved with organized crime groups. Many suppliers are particularly active in the gym industry and healthcare sector. The relative presence of such suppliers has important policy implications, not least with regard to the role of criminal law in addressing the provision of PIEDs.
      PubDate: 2018-07-04
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9348-5
  • Correction to: Survey research with gang and non-gang members in prison:
           operational lessons from the LoneStar project
    • Authors: Meghan M. Mitchell; Kallee McCullough; Jun Wu; David C. Pyrooz; Scott H. Decker
      Abstract: The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake.
      PubDate: 2018-06-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9347-6
  • Policing bikers: confrontation or dialogue'
    • Authors: Paul Larsson
      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: 2018-06-11
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9346-7
  • Crime in Ireland north and south: Feuding gangs and profiteering
    • Authors: Niamh Hourigan; John F. Morrison; James Windle; Andrew Silke
      Abstract: This paper provides a systematic overview of the emergence of organized crime in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since the late 1960s. It draws on two major studies of organized crime in the South (Hourigan 2011) and paramilitary activity in the North (Morrison 2014) to explore how conflict within and between organized criminal and paramilitary groups, shapes the distinctive dynamic of organized crime on the island of Ireland. The paper opens with an overview of the development of the drugs trade in the Republic of Ireland. The distinctive cultural characteristics of Irish organized crime groups are considered and the role played by paramilitary groups in criminal networks, North and South, is reviewed. As part of this analysis, the dynamic of inter-gang feuds and the spectrum of conflicts between organized criminal and paramilitary groups are analyzed. The competitive and mutually beneficial links between these organizations, North and South are explored as well as the tendency of paramilitaries to engage in vigilantism against criminals (mostly drugs dealers) as a means of building political capital within local communities.
      PubDate: 2018-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-017-9312-9
  • Violence and electoral competition: criminal organizations and municipal
           candidates in Mexico
    • Abstract: This article evaluates the effects of violence related to the operations of drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs) on electoral competition, defined by the number of electoral alternatives or candidates in Mexico’s municipal elections. I find that the killing and threatening of politicians, which are effective tools to influence politics, jeopardizes competition in violent Mexican municipalities by reducing the number of candidates. This result is not only probabilistically robust but also meaningful. The number of candidates can fall to one in the more violent municipalities. However, DTOs can also provide (illegal) funding to politicians to facilitate their candidacies. I find that as confrontation intensifies among DTOs, the negative effect of violence on electoral competition moderates. This finding suggests that DTOs finance candidates to capture municipal governments when facing intense competition and attacks from other DTOs. In addition, DTOs in this context may also provide protection to their preferred candidates from other competing organizations. These factors temper the negative effect of violence on electoral competition.
      PubDate: 2018-05-25
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9344-9
  • An anatomy of Turkish football match-fixing
    • Abstract: While discussion on corruption in sport is intensifying and football match-fixing in particular is attracting increasing attention, new fixing scandals emerge offering new accounts of actors and corrupt practices within the football industry and the level of the external threat to the sport. The scandal exposure of fixed matches in Turkey in 2011 sheds light on the fixing of 17 matches played in the 2010/11 football season and allowed for insights to the actors, structure and processes behind the fix. Following four criminal and seven disciplinary proceedings, the case is still pending appeal for its final decision, involving a total of 93 suspects and having already resulted in the exclusion of two teams from European competitions. The evidence collected by the authorities points towards a hierarchical criminal organisation led by the President of a football club that arranged and coordinated the fixing in order for his team to win the national Championship. The aim of this article is to provide an account of the organisation and coordination of match-fixing in Turkey, with its actors, specifics and criminal characteristics, while offering an examination of match-fixing for sporting success, the least documented type of match-fixing.
      PubDate: 2018-05-23
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9345-8
  • Cyber-organised crime. A case of moral panic'
    • Authors: Anita Lavorgna
      Abstract: A growing number of studies show that the advent of the Internet has transformed the organisational life of crime, with many academic and non-academic articles and reports describing various types of organisational structures involved in cybercrimes as “organised crime”. Other researchers are more critical in applying the organised crime label to cybercrimes. These debates are not merely speculative and scholastic but have a real practical significance, as over-estimating organised crime involvement can attract more resources (which might end up being allocated in a less efficient way), additional legal powers, and support from the general public. This study aims to further this path of inquiry by investigating whether the advancement of the cyber-organised crime narrative in the UK can be identified also in the media discourse. More specifically, this study will analyse UK press to explore to what extent “moral panic” can be identified, how primary definers use particular tactics and rhetorical constructions, and what are the dominant consequences.
      PubDate: 2018-05-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9342-y
  • The factbook on the illicit trade in tobacco products 3 – Ireland
    • PubDate: 2018-05-09
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9339-6
  • Organized crime, violence, and territorial dispute in Mexico
    • Authors: María del Pilar Fuerte Celis; Enrique Pérez Lujan; Rodrigo Cordova Ponce
      Abstract: In the wake of so-called “hardline policies” against criminal groups (persecution, militarization, strengthening of security apparatuses), we take a comprehensive approach to the study of violent territorial disputes. We offer features for studying the violence attributed to organized crime, particularly in Mexico from 2007 to 2011, a time known as the “War on Drugs”; we identify characteristics of the drug-related criminal organizations in Mexico; further we show different strategies for the use of and dispute for territory. We propose four components that give us a better understanding of organized-crime groups: economic activities, ability to negotiate with other cartels, relations with state authorities, and strength of local roots.
      PubDate: 2018-05-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9341-z
  • An introduction to the special issue on ‘Organised crime and illegal
           markets in the UK and Ireland’
    • Authors: Klaus von Lampe; Georgios A. Antonopoulos
      Abstract: This paper provides an introduction to the articles and report excerpt submitted to the special issue of Trends in Organized Crime on ‘Organised crime and illegal markets in the UK and Ireland’. The aim of the special issue is to draw together empirical research findings and theoretical accounts on various manifestations of organised crime in the particular geographic context(s), the evolution of organised crime, the links between organised crime, the legal sphere and paramilitary groups, as well as an account of the demographic profile and attitudes of citizens in areas in which organised crime groups thrive.
      PubDate: 2018-04-23
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9343-x
  • Tackling local organised crime groups: lessons from research in two UK
    • Authors: Ruth Crocker; Sarah Webb; Michael Skidmore; Sarah Garner; Martin Gill; John Graham
      Abstract: This study examines the nature and community-level impact of organised crime groups known to the police in three deprived, high-crime neighbourhoods in which a wide range of organised crime was evident. By doing so, we were able to identify how the groups in these areas were structured, who was involved and how they operated. A number of key group features emerged. We describe these features to provide insight into the workings of locally based organised crime groups and discuss the implications for how local practitioners tackle these offenders, disrupt their operation and protect local communities from the corrosive impact of organised crime.
      PubDate: 2018-04-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9335-x
  • Self-governing prisons: Prison gangs in an international perspective
    • Authors: Michelle Butler; Gavin Slade; Camila Nunes Dias
      Abstract: This paper finds qualified support for the use of Skarbek’s (2011, 2014) governance theory to understand the emergence of prison gang-like groups in Kyrgyzstan, Northern Ireland and Brazil. However, Skarbek’s (2011, 2014) governance theory has little to say about how many prison gangs emerge and how they organise comparatively outside the US context. This paper argues that variation in the number of gangs and their monopolization of informal governance can only be explained by considering importation and deprivation theories alongside governance theories. These theories factor in variation in prison environments and pre-existing societal divisions imported into prison, which affect the costs on information transmission and incentives for gang expansion. In particular, the paper pays attention to the wider role social and political processes play in influencing whether monopoly power by prison gangs is supported and legitimized or not.
      PubDate: 2018-03-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9338-7
  • Structure, multiplexity, and centrality in a corruption network: the Czech
           Rath affair
    • Authors: Tomáš Diviák; Jan Kornelis Dijkstra; Tom A. B. Snijders
      Abstract: The present study is an analysis of a Czech political corruption network known as the Rath affairreconstructed with publicly available data. We argue that for the study of criminal networks it is fruitful tofollow a multiplex approach, i.e., to distinguish several interdependent network dimensions and study howthey are interrelated. Relational elements in corruption are identified, and we propose three dimensions thatare essential for understanding the Rath network: pre-existing ties (e.g., marriage or co-membership of thesame party), resource transfer (e.g., bribing), and collaboration (e.g., communication).The aim of the study was threefold. We aimed to examine if the network exhibits the core/periphery structure,to investigate the multiplex structure of the network by assessing the overlap of the main dimensions of thenetwork, and to determine the central and multiplex actors while considering the differentiation of centralityaccording to the three network dimensions. The core/periphery model appears to have a perfect fit to theaggregated network, leading to a four-block adjacency matrix. Studying the frequency of ties in these blocksshows that collaboration ties are present in all the blocks, while resource transfer ties are mainly locatedbetween the core and periphery, and pre-existing ties are rare generally. We also identify central actors,none of which are strategically positioned, occupying more visible positions instead. The majority of actors display strong multiplexity in the composition of their own ties. In the conclusion the potential usefulness ofmultiplex descriptive measures and of mixed methods approaches, implications of our results for trust incriminal networks, and potential merits of analytical sociology approach are discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-03-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9334-y
  • Correction to: Accounting for turbulence in the Colombian underworld
    • Authors: Krzysztof Krakowski; Gladys Zubiría
      Abstract: The original version of this article contained a typesetting mistake. Map 1 image was incorrect. The original article has been corrected.
      PubDate: 2018-03-17
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9337-8
  • Review of Communities and Crime: An Enduring American Challenge . By
           Pamela Wilcox, Francis T. Cullen, and Ben Feldmeyer
    • Authors: Justin Kotzé
      PubDate: 2018-03-12
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9336-9
  • Survey research with gang and non-gang members in prison: operational
           lessons from the LoneStar Project
    • Authors: Meghan M. Mitchell; Kallee McCullough; Jun Wu; David C. Pyrooz; Scott H. Decker
      Abstract: Prisons have been described as the final frontier for research on gangs and gang members. Criminological research in prisons is rare due to restricted access to facilities, concerns about harsh public scrutiny, and worries about security. There are added challenges for survey research involving prison gang members, as it is believed that gang norms inhibit reliable and valid responses and discourage participation in research. This article introduces the Study of Trajectories, Associations, and Reentry—the LoneStar Project—which involved interview-based surveys with 802 prison inmates in Texas, over 45% of whom were officially classified as gang members. We assess the prospect for conducting interview-based survey research with gang members in prison. We detail the planning and implementation phases of this study, assess whether gang members can be surveyed in prisons with fidelity, report descriptive statistics on gang and non-gang members, and identify five key operational lessons from this study. Our results revealed that gang members would not only participate in research, but that the methodological characteristics of their survey responses were indistinguishable statistically and substantively from those of non-gang prison inmates. We also determined that strong researcher-practitioner relationships, a nimble yet consistent research team, and a heavy emphasis on rapport building allowed this project to be carried out with few disruptions in a prison environment. These results are promising for future research in prisons, especially with gang members.
      PubDate: 2018-03-09
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9331-1
  • Accounting for turbulence in the Colombian underworld
    • Authors: Krzysztof Krakowski; Gladys Zubiría
      Abstract: Organized crime groups (OCGs) fight against each other even if it harms their businesses and exposes them to law enforcement authorities. Why do some groups refrain from fighting, while others operate in the incessantly violent underworld' To explain this puzzle, we propose that the underworld conflict is related to the strategies of extra-legal governance adopted by OCGs. We suggest that such strategies have origins in the availability of resources within the groups reach at their entrance into the underworld. More specifically, OCGs with access to easily extractable resources develop limited governance, which leaves them vulnerable to internal and external challenges. OCGs without access to easily extractable resources invest in extended governance, reducing their risk of underworld conflict. This article illustrates this hypothesis in the comparative case study of the Colombian organized crime, supported by new quantitative data.
      PubDate: 2018-03-04
      DOI: 10.1007/s12117-018-9330-2
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