Criminal networks, illegal immigration and the threat to border security

Adrian James

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Abstract

This paper considers some of the challenges posed to law enforcement agencies in post-modernity by the emergence of transnational criminal networks. Law enforcement, once very much local in character, must now reshape its structures and processes to meet the new and emerging risks presented. Though the paper uses the topic of illegal immigration to reveal something of the nature of such networks and the threat they pose, it also observes that fundamentally, transnational criminal networks are profit-driven and that, perhaps, it is misguided to think of these groups either as commodity-specific or process-specific. The paper concludes that law enforcement agencies need to meet the challenge that such networks present by managing their business with equal flexibility and resourcefulness. Though mechanisms to support that business are being developed, law enforcement agencies must not lose sight of the fact that it is successful outcomes, in the form of the dismantling and disruption of transnational criminal networks, rather than the new processes themselves (that simply underpin law enforcement's efforts) that are important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science & Management
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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