ABSTRACT

This chapter considers how organised crime has been affected by changing patterns of geographical mobility. It reflects on the difficulty this brings for conventional law enforcement activity and illustrates the opportunities provided for situational crime prevention techniques. Conceptually, the chapter draws on the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ (Sheller and Urry 2006) to consider how social changes documented in this emergent social science field intersect with changes in the organisation of criminality – particularly evident in the organisation of mobile criminality – which have presented routine opportunities for organised, transnational crime. We examined this phenomenon through a small empirical study conducted in three English police forces between 2007–8. This study comprised an analysis of the organised crime investigations of a medium-sized force, supplemented by 11 interviews conducted with senior investigators in three police forces, attendance at seminars, and informal conversations with practitioners at different organisational levels and locations.

We propose that increased levels of mobile criminality are impacting significantly on the scope and variety of organised crime in England. In particular it is evident that, despite the attention paid to transnational policing in the organised crime literature, the burden of policing organised crime continues to fall upon local police forces where demand outstrips supply. In consequence, the necessity of a new paradigm for 194dealing with organised crime is critical. We argue here that a situational crime prevention approach, coupled with a further modification of that concept (which we refer to as situational crime disruption), is more effective, in terms of impact and cost.