Controlling Organized Crime
Criminal organizations or organized crime are groups of individuals or enterprises that are highly centralized and composed of numerous transnational groups or ethnicities run by criminals who operate together or apart for the goal of illegal activity. Organized crime violates rights of human, threatens human security and disrupts social, economic, political, civil and cultural development of society. Powerful criminal syndicates getting more centralized due to the demands for illegal goods and services that may be forced in their interests. In order to get these privileges, they undermine public morals and counteract with law enforcement through the schemes of corruption. They are structured in hierarchical pyramid and employing violence bribery in order to maintain their operations, threats (as retribution or murder), internal or external control, buy political patronage and keep immunity from prosecution and exposure.
Criminal organizations always keep their plans and illegal operations in secret and may be defined as systematic and organized foundation. It strictly depends on certain society support in which it exists. Consequently, it is often expedient for being compromised with many upright members of society, as police forces, judiciary, and legislature, through blackmail, bribery and specific elaboration with legitimate businesses. With being shielded by corrupted politicians and law officers, they getting the revenue from extortion, narcotics trafficking, prostitution and gambling.
Organized crime is one of the major threats to social security and development today. In the form of multinational corporations, these groups are looking for profit out of the country through the evaluation of risks, market analysis and certain benefits. The lack of enforcement and judicial tools gives the opportunity for these criminal syndicates to manage drug trafficking, people, money laundering and counterfeiting. The main aspect for them is poverty, which is generated through corruption. And corruption misuses governments’ resources by discouraging them from spheres of development, health and education. It comes to the problem of the confidence loss in public institutions and general social-economic inequality. Violence and social instability increase with the growing poverty, inequality and social mistrust of institutions and political leaders. There are a lot of people that are losing their lives every year because of organized crime, falling into health drug-related problems, firearm injuries, human trafficking motives and migrant smugglers.
Criminal organizations gone global, moreover has diversified and reached the proportions of macro-economy. The nature of transnationality in organized crime means that their networks make connections across borders and overcome linguistic and cultural differences in their crime commission. Organized crime would not be considered as stagnant, it adapts with the new crimes and creates criminal networks, make them more sophisticated, and keeps the plan to spread around the globe.
There is only one known convention that fights against organized crime internationally; it is called United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and it is guarded by UNODC. They are working on three main following courses:
- Trafficking in persons;
- Smuggling of migrants;
- Trafficking of firearms.
They are considered as a landmark achievement that represents the commitment of the international community in order to fight with transnational organized crime and recognizing the role of the UN in this commitment support. In the year of 2000, at the 55th session of the General Assembly of the United States, this Convention was officially accepted and has entered the force in 2003. The UNTOC offers United States parties the special schemes, frameworks and platform for combating and preventing organized crime. States have a platform for law enforcement cooperation strengthening as well as access to the new schemes for mutual legal extradition and assistance. They are also working with technical assistance and training promotion for strengthening the national authorities’ capacity to determine, define and address organized crime.
The UNTOC organization does not define transnational organized crime precisely. And for certain reasons they are not managing the list of crimes that happening. This aspect is explained by the will to have a broader applicability to new crime types that happening globally, regionally and locally at certain conditional changes. Though, the Convention defines groups of organized criminal as following:
- Not randomly formed groups of three and more people;
- Groups that exist for the short period of time;
- Groups that act with the aim to commit a single time organized crime and are considered with the punishment by 4 years’ incarceration;
- Groups that act with the aim to directly (or indirectly) obtain a benefit (financial or other material).
As most of these criminal groups are working in concert thus consist of three or more people; furthermore, they exist for a certain period of time they may be defined as the groups with profit-driven nature with the different levels of offences they commit. The term transnational covers not just one State committed crime, but the crimes that may be planned and controlled from another states. The definition of transnational organized crime also surrounds criminal activities that are profit-motivated with international implications. This wide definition counts the global intricacy of the issue and gives the opportunity for cooperation with the widest directions of common concerns.
The theory of social control states that an involvement of the individuals in family and the community will lessen the possibility of engaging individuals in illegal activity. The reward and punishment are always considered by individuals that are going to commit a crime before the criminal act itself. If community works with anti-crime programs, remains functionally for society, and settle moral values with the local law respect, the possibility of criminal activity in given place would be lower.
There are many issues in combating the organized crime, as for example, variable of legal limitations. They may affect the ability of law enforcement to pursue criminals effectively as a result of many gaps in the legal system. The constitutions in every State are unique, and every jurisdiction's procedure may conflict with each other and makes it impossible to capture the system of criminal deeds. Criminal organizations are surely aware of these limitations and use these state issues to operate without risks and are taking advantage of it.
The United States are working on joining forces with neighbor countries like Canada, in order to fight against organized crimes and terrorism. Both countries believe that these organizations looking for countries with the lack of stability. Thus, the countries are working on the idea of sharing the resource-intelligence globally in order to see these criminal systems, control them and combat with them. Law enforcement implements different types of technology like improved research that may be conducted to provide special units and departments with training and education that much more improved and organized that the ones from the past. They analyze features that criminal organizations use, detect and prevent criminal wrongdoers. The enforcement constantly develops upgrades to strategies that may prevent criminal operations, determine individuals involved and effectively prosecute.
There is a known theory called Differential Association that focuses on certain group-environment. People who collectivize with those who abstain from illegal activity, juvenile delinquents, criminal deviants or career criminals will usually follow. These individuals usually go against the norms of society within their community, and they do it so as a result of willing to get materialistic values or known American dream.
After researching organized crime carefully you may only imagine how difficult the law enforcement is throughout the country and abroad. Criminal organizations are equipped with technology and are sophisticated network of people that are professionally trained in a lot of disciplines. Educated answers provided by theories help law enforcement to fight against crime, serve and protect the society. Furthermore, the prohibited by law enforcement legal limitations to efficaciously apprehend criminals is considered as a sign of cooperation.