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ECPR Rising Star Award

Examining the Use of Business Analysis Techniques to Police OCGs

Organised Crime
 
Analytic
 
Policy Implementation
 
Presenter
Chris Allen
Liverpool John Moores University
Authors
Chris Allen
Liverpool John Moores University

Abstract
It’s not until we understand the prism through which high end OCGs operate that we can formulate an effective response to them. There is a growing school of thought, populated by scholars such as Wainwright (2016), Cockayne (2016) Arlaachi (1988) and Glenny (2008), suggesting that Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) operate similarly to, and learn from, legitimate business, with the main difference that their commodity happens to be illegal. Wainwright (2016) argues that drug cartels have learnt “brand franchising from McDonalds, supply chain management from Walmart and diversification from Coca-Cola” and that when they start to think like big business the only way to understand them is economics.

It is this principle of treating organised crime like the sophisticated businesses they mimic that is central to the research. While the present tools capable of conducting a similar form of scrutiny, such as market and subject analysis (The former is used to outline the level of activity, trends and understand why a market operates the way it does, while the latter is used to produce a subject profile) are suitable for building up a general picture, I believe through utilising techniques more commonly used in a business situation, that police intelligence capabilities can be substantially enhanced.

Because organised criminals mimic the operation of sophisticated businesses –the only difference being the product they sell is illegal- I will apply established economic analysis techniques to these groups in order to enhance policing intelligence surrounding their operation.

So far around ten techniques have been identified (these include Porter’s Five Forces, 7’Cs of Consulting and Value Chain Analysis) as being able to translate from legitimate to illegitimate enterprises. To that end, a framework- the organised crime applicability index- has been developed identifying which legitimate factors these techniques highlight that can be translated into organised crime investigation.

These factors are:

1) Resources: By mapping the precise resources an OCG has you can better assess the likelihood of the direction of their next business move
2) People: When you know which OCG members will lose or benefit from a certain action you can plan an operation around their reactions
3) Requirements of organised criminality: once you have assessed the elements needed to commit a certain crime you can plan to ensure the OCG does not acquire those elements
4) Mapping the external environment, Political social etc: Knowing the environment allows this to be factored in to operational planning
5) Mapping the internal environment: Awareness of the market an OCG operates in aids operational planning

Law enforcement benefits

Specifically, it is hoped the toolkit will aid the processes involved in creating the strategy and tactics which aim to pursue and disrupt organised criminal networks.
Testing on intelligence logs and case summaries from various law enforcement agencies is well underway, in addition I am working with the Home Office and City of London Police to produce a training manual for UK law enforcement, which will be based on the academic theory derived from this research.
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