RUSI has launched a Strategic Hub for Organised Crimeresearch in association with the Home Office, National Crime Agency, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Partnership for Crime, Conflict and Security within Research Councils UK. The aim of the new hub is, to develop a world class research agenda that meets the needs of policymakers and practitioners in the field.
The harmful impacts of organised crime in the UK are becoming more visible, from new areas such as cybercrime, trafficking in cultural objects and match fixing, in addition to traditional activities like drug trafficking. The cost of organised crime in the UK is estimated as at least £24 billion, with a significant impact on communities, families and individuals. Further afield organised crime undermines development assistance and contributes to instability.
In response, the Home Office has developed the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy and established the National Crime Agency. The strategy takes a holistic approach to organised crime, seeking to Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare.
Despite the government’s renewed focus on combating organised crime, there are still gaps in the understanding of the scale and nature of organised crime in the UK and overseas, the effectiveness of strategies to disrupt it and pathways into and out of organised criminality. These gaps undermine attempts to address organised crime globally.
The new Strategic Hub will fill this knowledge gap. Bringing together academic researchers and policymakers, the hub will create greater connectivity between policy concerns and rigorous enquiry.
Initially the Strategic Hub will work with partners and the academic community to assess what strategies are effective at disrupting organised crime, what do criminal markets look like, and where are the vulnerabilities in the system. The Hub also aims to develop new methodologies to examine these and related issues. These priorities will be examined by policymakers, academics and researchers at a conference to be held at RUSI on 8 December 2014.