The paper argues the current state of organized crime and the rationale for considering it primary priority of the U.S. Law Enforcement. In the last three decades, organized crime and technology has grown rapidly at the similar velocity of globalization. The global integration of world economy, politics, and society through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has ushered a new wave of organized crime where the enemy is necessarily not within the national boundaries, rather reside outside the boundaries spatially. The paper highlights Albanese (2002) recommendations in the light of modern organized crime and technology status, which relies on improving data collection quality, utilization of team approach for gathering information, application of the risk assessment instrument for supplementing law enforcement efforts, understanding of the instrument’s parameters, and implementation efforts of law and policy reflecting organized crime risk assessment. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for adopting Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence for estimation and mitigation of events that seems isolated, but linked to network of organized crime.
Fighting Organize Crime: The Primary Priority of the U.S. Law Enforcement
Organized Crime, and specifically transnational nature of organized crime, is a serious threat to the Global Stability, along with national security of the United States. The closer integration of global economy, open borders, and widespread adoption of internet has paved way for sophisticated and complex structure of organized crime. The difference between the organized crime of previous decades from the digital age is the nature of threat, which is spatially no more limited to within the borders. Technology for prediction and mitigation of crime events has evolved over the last three to four decades and U.S. law enforcement is better equipped with adoption of new technologies for ensuring peace and stability, at national and global level. Organized crime can be effectively anticipated, intervened, and prevented with efficient information on offenders, victims and police with adaptation of Information and Communication Technologies, such as, Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
The primary priority of the U.S. Law Enforcement is fighting organised crime. The primary target of organized crime are national security and economy, and the level at which they now operate at transnational level. A long history of fight against organised crime in United States supplements adoption of specific federal laws, along with government agencies that first-hand confront a range of criminal activities. The law enforcement agency responsible for dealing with organised crime is “Department of Justice,” coupled with two main bodies of DEA and FBI, although coordination with other departments exist on routine basis. The widespread scale and impact of International Organised Crime requires a coordinated effort on behalf of local, state, and federal level agencies. In order to fight organised crime, task forces, intelligence centres, and working groups exist under the jurisdiction of various departments. Additionally, the major coordinating structure for fight against organised crime is the network of “Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Programme” and “The International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Centre”.
A series of legislation exist, beginning with Federal Anti-Racketeering Act (the ‘Hobbs Act’) in 1946, and the most recent of the Acts in this direction is the “United States Patriot Act (2001)” and “Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (2009)”. The time and resources with law enforcement is scarce, and efficient utilization of human and physical capital means prioritizing tasks at the direction of public needs. For example, CATO Institute’s Criminal Justice Survey suggest that Americans top three priorities for law enforcement agencies, police to be specific, are investigating violent crime (78%), protecting from violent crime (64%), Investigating property crime or robbery (58%), and enforcing drug laws (30%). Most of the crimes mentioned above directly or indirectly fall into the category or organized crime, which is a serious threat to the global stability and national security. In the aftermath of the collapse of Soviet Union, coupled with other failed states, the organized criminal networks and groups have cashed on the problems (Denley and Ariel, 2019).
Rationale: Why the U.S. Government Adopt the Policy?
The world is increasingly integrating at faster than ever before due to internet and digital technologies. Organized group in the aftermath of Soviet Collapse, and recent “War against Terror” has created new form of sophisticated network that requires adoption of modern technologies. In modern times, State’s sovereignty retains when it has advantage of technological means vis-à-vis possible threats. Organized crime is a serious threat due to heavy reliance of offenders on technology networks. For instance, as per Business Standard media house, some companies operating out of the US are allegedly linked with security agencies of their respected country that is supposed to have a part in U.S. Election riggings. Not only at political level, organized crime is happening in the similar way for money-laundering, drug, and human trafficking, and violence. The utilization of Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence can be extremely useful when integrated within the processes of law enforcement.
Action Plan and Recommendation:
Albanese (2002) published an article in journal of Trends in Organized Crime, and mentioned following five ways in which the control and prediction of organized crime for the anticipation, investigation, and prevention of events that might otherwise seem isolated events:
- Improving the quality of data collection.
- Utilization of team approach for gathering information
- Application of “risk assessment instrument” that supplements effort of law enforcement.
- Additionally, understanding the parameters of the aforementioned instrument.
- Law and Policy implementation efforts needs to be reflect on the organized crime risk assessment.
The policy proposal aims at adopting Big Data and Artificial Intelligence as part of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) initiative to counter events of organized crime. The underlying feature and pattern of organized crime is connecting the crime to the network of organized crime. Albanese (2002) research findings assist in analyzing the isolated incidents in connection to organized crime; that is, through high quality information on victims, offenders, and police with the collaboration of researchers, investigators and analysts. Pramanik et al. (2017) argues that the application of data analytics technology can improve the effectiveness of security and criminal investigation, which over the last three decades has matured to produce criminal analytics. The big data has state-of-the-art technologies that are reshaping the law enforcement’s investigation processes with criminal analytics framework. In the similar way, Feng et al. (2019) also argues the effectiveness of adopting big data analytics and mining techniques for picturing and predicting of the trends in crime data.
The surveys suggesting public opinion suggest that the top priority of U.S. law enforcement should be to control the isolated events often linked to organized crime. Since the fall of Soviet Union, newly formed fragile states and groups have grown in the age of technology and gained sophisticated techniques. As the paper illustrates link of companies operating from South Asia in Russian attempt of rigging U.S. Election. The integration of society and economy have resulted in Governments to adopt modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for prediction, investigation and prevention of isolated events. The over emphasize on terrorism has deprived policy of the more serious issue of organized crime which could be mitigated. Modern technologies like Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence can be used to monitor, predict, and collect information on the events of organized crime.
Albanese, J. S. (2001). The prediction and control of organized crime: A risk assessment instrument for targeting law enforcement efforts. Trends in Organized Crime, 6(3), 4-29.
Denley, J., & Ariel, B. (2019). Whom should we target to prevent? Analysis of organized crime in England using intelligence records. European journal of crime, criminal law and criminal justice, 27(1), 13-44.
Feng, M., Zheng, J., Ren, J., Hussain, A., Li, X., Xi, Y., & Liu, Q. (2019). Big data analytics and mining for effective visualization and trends forecasting of crime data. IEEE Access, 7, 106111-106123.
Pramanik, M. I., Lau, R. Y., Yue, W. T., Ye, Y., & Li, C. (2017). Big data analytics for security and criminal investigations. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 7(4), e1208.
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