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Proactive policing and the assessment of organised crime

Kristof Verfaillie and Tom Vander Beken UGent (2008) POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES & MANAGEMENT. 31(4). p.534-552
abstract
Purpose - Contemporary policing and the control of (organised) crime involve priority setting, strategic planning and the use of strategic planning tools. The purpose of this paper is to make a contribution to the fast-growing body of literature on intelligence-led policing, and explore new concepts and methods to aid the strategic decision making of actors involved in policing organised crime. Design/methodology/approach - This paper argues that priority setting and strategic planning in the field of organised crime is inherently characterised by uncertainty. The authors examine to what extent policymakers can plan and anticipate coming organised crime threats. It is argued that, while predicting such issues is impossible, policymakers can prepare for them. It is suggested that the field of scenario studies can provide tools that can support strategic planning and the assessment of security challenges in the field of organised crime control. A scenario study is presented on the vulnerability of economic sectors to illustrate and develop this claim. Findings - Scenario studies do not predict the future of organised crime, nor do they replace information-gathering methodologies and crime intelligence applications that support concrete criminal investigations. Scenario studies are sensitising tools that force strategic planners to examine the assumptions and knowledge base on which they base their decisions. To that end, scenario studies combine the analysis of law enforcement data and scientific analysis of organised crime with analysis of issues most vital to societies, regions, cities, etc. The analytical focus shifts from targeting concrete offenders to detecting opportunities and weaknesses in structural processes that may not always be visible to police organizations, but pose significant security risks if left unattended. The scenario study that is presented on the vulnerability of economic sectors in the EU illustrates that scenario studies can amend traditional crime intelligence in this manner. Research limitations/implications - The paper is limited to a conceptual study and a concrete scenario study. Future research might shed more light on implementation/evaluation issues of scenario-based planning. Practical implications - The paper offers a conceptual and methodological framework for scenario-based strategic planning. Originality/value - The paper intends to advance the debate on organized crime assessments in light of the development towards intelligence-led policing strategies. To that end, new concepts and a different methodological framework are suggested.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Decision making, Strategic planning, Crime research, Policing
journal title
POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES & MANAGEMENT
Policing
volume
31
issue
4
pages
534 - 552
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
place of publication
Bingley, Yorkshire, England
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000262248300002
JCR category
CRIMINOLOGY & PENOLOGY
JCR impact factor
0.289 (2008)
JCR rank
27/31 (2008)
JCR quartile
2 (2008)
ISSN
1363-951X
DOI
10.1108/13639510810910553
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
id
593147
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-593147
date created
2009-04-10 10:34:44
date last changed
2015-06-17 11:10:01
@article{593147,
  abstract     = {Purpose - Contemporary policing and the control of (organised) crime involve priority setting, strategic planning and the use of strategic planning tools. The purpose of this paper is to make a contribution to the fast-growing body of literature on intelligence-led policing, and explore new concepts and methods to aid the strategic decision making of actors involved in policing organised crime.
Design/methodology/approach - This paper argues that priority setting and strategic planning in the field of organised crime is inherently characterised by uncertainty. The authors examine to what extent policymakers can plan and anticipate coming organised crime threats. It is argued that, while predicting such issues is impossible, policymakers can prepare for them. It is suggested that the field of scenario studies can provide tools that can support strategic planning and the assessment of security challenges in the field of organised crime control. A scenario study is presented on the vulnerability of economic sectors to illustrate and develop this claim.
Findings - Scenario studies do not predict the future of organised crime, nor do they replace information-gathering methodologies and crime intelligence applications that support concrete criminal investigations. Scenario studies are sensitising tools that force strategic planners to examine the assumptions and knowledge base on which they base their decisions. To that end, scenario studies combine the analysis of law enforcement data and scientific analysis of organised crime with analysis of issues most vital to societies, regions, cities, etc. The analytical focus shifts from targeting concrete offenders to detecting opportunities and weaknesses in structural processes that may not always be visible to police organizations, but pose significant security risks if left unattended. The scenario study that is presented on the vulnerability of economic sectors in the EU illustrates that scenario studies can amend traditional crime intelligence in this manner.
Research limitations/implications - The paper is limited to a conceptual study and a concrete scenario study. Future research might shed more light on implementation/evaluation issues of scenario-based planning.
Practical implications - The paper offers a conceptual and methodological framework for scenario-based strategic planning.
Originality/value - The paper intends to advance the debate on organized crime assessments in light of the development towards intelligence-led policing strategies. To that end, new concepts and a different methodological framework are suggested.},
  author       = {Verfaillie, Kristof and Vander Beken, Tom},
  issn         = {1363-951X},
  journal      = {POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES \& MANAGEMENT},
  keyword      = {Decision making,Strategic planning,Crime research,Policing},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {534--552},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.},
  title        = {Proactive policing and the assessment of organised crime},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13639510810910553},
  volume       = {31},
  year         = {2008},
}

Chicago
Verfaillie, Kristof, and Tom Vander Beken. 2008. “Proactive Policing and the Assessment of Organised Crime.” Policing-an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 31 (4): 534–552.
APA
Verfaillie, Kristof, & Vander Beken, T. (2008). Proactive policing and the assessment of organised crime. POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES & MANAGEMENT, 31(4), 534–552.
Vancouver
1.
Verfaillie K, Vander Beken T. Proactive policing and the assessment of organised crime. POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES & MANAGEMENT. Bingley, Yorkshire, England: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.; 2008;31(4):534–52.
MLA
Verfaillie, Kristof, and Tom Vander Beken. “Proactive Policing and the Assessment of Organised Crime.” POLICING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLICE STRATEGIES & MANAGEMENT 31.4 (2008): 534–552. Print.