Transnational organised crime (TOC) has moved higher up the agenda of some governments and intergovernmental organisations. This chapter is based on an ongoing project for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Research Arm of the Department of Justice of the Government of the USA in Washington, DC. It outlines some of the issues involved in measuring TOC statistically, with a case study of one country, and the specific issues raised in respect of the three intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) that may reasonably be expected to play a leading role in the fight against TOC. A more detailed analytical description of the main features of these IGOs as regards statistical data on TOC forms the second part of the chapter.
Some time ago I attended an expert group meeting funded by NIJ in Washington on the question of whether it is feasible to measure TOC, and how it should be attempted, if at all. The meeting divided, psychologically and epistemologically, into two groups. The first argued that, unless and until some sort of quantitative measure of TOC can be developed, it will not be possible to construct rational strategies and policies to counter it; and, above all, it would not be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of such strategies and policies. The second group argued that it will never be possible to measure TOC accurately enough for orthodox evaluation methods to be used, and that a quite different approach based on, for instance, network analysis, will have to be developed.
The suggestion was made that the first step could be to find out what sets of data already exist in different parts of the offices of governments,