Organised crime and the Conjunction of Criminal Opportunity frameworkPaul Ekblom*
The challenge of preventing organised crime
Organised crime is especially challenging to control. It is:
|• dispersed and invisible - forming networks more than gangs, |
|• invasive and progressive, |
|• subversive and self-protective - disabling and corrupting crime control systems, |
|• entrepreneurial and well-resourced, |
These features confront us with a pernicious combination of moving targets and shifting ground. They set the scene for an arms race between preventers and organised offenders (Ekblom, 1997, 1999), especially where social and technological change constantly creates new opportunities for offending - new targets, environments, business models, tools and information sources. Even successful crime control methods eventually weaken as offenders learn to circumvent them. Legislative solutions lag behind changing crime patterns - particularly those requiring international agreement.
* This chapter is based on material developed during a project supported by the Falcone Fund of the European Union, 'The Identification, Development and Exchange of Good Practice for Reducing Organized Crime'. The project involved colleagues in Europol, the Swedish National Crime Prevention Council (BRÅ), the UKHome Office and National Criminal Intelligence Service, Cardiff University and Corporate Solutions Ltd. Particular thanks to Mike Sutton and Dick Oldfield formerly of Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, Home Office; Bram Dekker of Europol; Michael Levi and Mike Maguire of Cardiff University; Dermot Browne of Corporate Solutions; and Lars Korsell of BRÅ. This chapter © UKCrown Copyright 2002. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the UKHome Office or any other UKGovernment Department.