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Organised Crime

Cities are arenas exploited by organised criminal groups which can appropriate open, accessible and commercial spaces for illegal purposes, while establishing relationships with the legitimate societal context. The focus here is on primary and secondary prevention strategies targeted at altering the legal, administrative and social circumstances that enable organised criminals to flourish economically, and interventions lowering the risk of individuals to be involved in organised criminal activities.

See below the most relevant literature concepts for the Prevention of Organised Crime and Trafficking, and its Key Lessons.

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Key Lessons

  1. The dominant approaches to organised crime and trafficking remain ones focused on law enforcement through policing, prosecution and punishment, however given their limited effectiveness as prevention strategies, some municipalities have increasingly deployed a variety of administrative measures and ordinances with some success.
  2. Law enforcement strategies should focus on reducing violence related to organised crime, as well as protecting state institutions from infiltration from organised crime groups (Felbab-Brown 2013).
  3. Disrupting the business model and underlying structures of organised crime provides opportunities for crime prevention – including, for example, the closure of premises, the seizure of assets and revoking permits under municipal by-laws.
  4. Organised crime groups are constantly adapting in response to changes in technology, legislation and demand for services, hence there is a need to monitor situations and adapt policies accordingly (Caneppele and Mancuso 2012).
  5. Research suggests a need to examine and understand the underlying drivers facilitating the trafficking of human beings - i.e. contributing industry sectors, to target responses – and to foster policies promoting inclusion and integration of marginalised communities, reducing their dependence on crime and the illicit economy (Felbab-Brown 2013).
  6. Cross-border problems require cross-border solutions. Cross-jurisdictional collaboration between origin and destination countries helps us to further understand the underlying context driving the supply and demand of phenomena such as human trafficking, potentially enabling more effective measures to be implemented in response.
  7. Studies highlight the importance of multi-agency partnerships and inter-agency cooperation. Holistic responses are required to address the inherent complexity of the phenomenon of organised crime and trafficking. These are enhanced where a clearly defined framework of responsibilities and accountability between partners is adopted. Ineffective partnerships and a lack of information sharing are the most common reasons for implementation failure.