MEASURING ORGANIZED CRIME IN THE WESTERN BALKANS: THE UNODC APPROACH

Almir Maljević

Abstract


The aims of this paper is to examine the availability of statistical data on crime, and specifically on organized crime (OC). When it comes to organized crime, definitional questions make the task of identifying the proper data and assessing its availability for collection and analysis particularly complicated. Despite these definitional issues, the statistical framework took a holistic approach in measuring both the who and the what of organized crime. The concept of OC was divided into five dimensions: state response, enablers, OC activities, organized criminal groups (OCGs), and economic value (see Figure 2). Within those five dimensions, 19 sub-dimensions, and 364 unique indicators were identified that could contribute to measuring OC. These 364 indicators became a “wish list” against which availability of data was assessed. In order to more accurately capture instance of crime linked to organized crime, a number of indicators required disaggregation between total number of persons/cases regarding a particular criminal activity and the same criminal activity that involved organized criminal groups. For this reason, indicators within the framework often appear in pairs, such as, “total number of cases of trafficking in persons” as well as “total number of cases of trafficking in persons involving an organized criminal group”. The paper discusses how availability of data can elucidate important factors about countries’ capacities to measure patterns and trends of OC and finally, present some practical solutions to improve the availability of this data.


Keywords


Organized crime; data; assessment; Western Balkans; indicators

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