Transnational Criminal Organization and the Law Enforcement Community

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The problem of transnational criminal organization poses some unique challenges to the law enforcement community. The scope of these organizations’ activities and personnel creates exponentially more work for law enforcement than relatively isolated or contained criminal acts by individuals or small groups. Random and personal crimes committed by individuals can usually be handled by police at the local level, as the investigation is limited to the known crime (or crimes) that have been committed and reported. In these cases, identifying and apprehending the perpetrator is possible through investigation of the evidence of the specific instance of crime. This is not the case with large criminal organizations. The scale of criminal …show more content…
These offenders may form groups and teams and play different roles (Xu and Chen). These groups and teams may have vastly different functions, such as production, transportation, distribution and marketing of illegal goods and services, as well as the eventual laundering of the ill-gotten proceeds from the illegal activity (Jiminez). Network analysis helps analysts determine the activities being conducted by the criminal enterprise and who all is involved and in what capacity. In the end, criminal network analysis integrates information from multiple crime incidents and even multiple sources to discover regular patterns about the structure, organization, operation, and information flow in criminal networks (Xu and Chen). This general intelligence on the groups will aid investigative efforts and facilitate collection of evidence for use in court.

Several software programs (like i2’s Analyst’s Notebook) have been developed to automate and streamline criminal network analysis. Although these programs automate much of the analysis (especially of large amount of raw data) there are still some basic techniques that occur “behind the scenes” in the software, that could still be done manually by the analyst. The first step is creating an association matrix of known and suspected associations between members of the criminal organization (Precision Computing Intelligence).
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