The need to tackle organised crime and terrorism threats indicates, among other things, the importance of analysing efficiently and effectively the patterns of criminal ties. Social network analysis (SNA) offers conceptual frameworks, techniques and software tools to measure and visualise empirical networks of any kind. The aim of this study was to test, examine and consider the usefulness of SNA as a principal approach for the analysis and investigation of criminal and terrorist organisations. Two quasi-experiments were deployed, using a conceptual analytical framework consisting of topological, cohesive subgroups, centrality and key player measures, to see whether the application of network concepts and techniques can help law enforcement and intelligence agencies understand and derive meaning from complex and/or large data sets. The results confirmed the research hypothesis and key conclusions were drawn. It was found that SNA is a quite effective and reliable approach that gives both investigators and analysts the power to know criminal and terrorist network structures. Clearly, SNA can influence a new way of thinking and improve professional practice through the development of intelligence-led applications. The study furthers understanding regarding the use of network concepts and techniques for crime analysis and investigation, and it can be used to inform decisions about SNA programmes and technologies.
|Journal||International Journal of Police Science & Management|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|