The Informer

The Informer blog provides a platform for academics, policymakers and practitioners to discuss their work and research and to share their opinions on organised crime.

We collaborate with the European Consortium for Political Research’s Standing Group on Organised Crime (ECPR-SGOC), one of the standing groups of the ECPR. The editorial board includes representatives from the University of Bath, Oxford University, the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Sao Paulo, Sofia University and Flinders University.


The Rise of Green Crime: It’s Time We Acknowledge the Threat to Peace and Security

29 Nov, 2020
Ava Tambala

This paper draws on the insights and feedback from John Cusack, Chair, Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime; Alexandria Reid, Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI); Jon Godson, Assistant Director, International Air Transport Association (IATA); and Che Sidanius, Global Head of Financial Crime and Industry Affairs, Refinitiv. You can…

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The State, Trends and Forecast of Russian Crime in the Context of the Coronavirus Pandemic

17 Nov, 2020
Alexander Sukharenko

This report was prepared for discussion at Towards a More Safe and Secure World Master Seminar: A Multi-Regional Project (October 27 – December 9, 2020), sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting globalisation and temporarily disorienting the criminal underworld. Following the…

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The Evolution of Serious and Organised Crime: The Diversifying Nature of Criminal Operations in the Digital Age

28 Sep, 2020
Kate Wilson

Organised crime groups (OCGs) have evolved and adapted techniques designed to facilitate criminal activities, evade detection and enable criminal enterprise to endure. The National Crime Agency’s (NCA) national strategic assessment of serious and organised crime (SOC) 2020 reports that SOC continues to have more impact on UK citizens than any other national…

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Combatting the Modern Mafia Phenomenon: Why the Italian 416-bis Criminal Code Must be Modified, Adapted to the Times and Applied to the European Context

17 Sep, 2020
Vincenzo Musacchio

The crime of association for mafia-type offences was introduced into the Italian criminal justice system by law on 13 September 1982. Provision n. 646 (better known as the law “Rognoni-La Torre” drawn from the name of its promoters) was included in the criminal code among the crimes against public order. Prior to…

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The Forgotten Front Against Organised Crime

20 Aug, 2020
Martin Verrier

In July, news outlets around the world reported that online hackers unsuccessfully attempted to obtain confidential Covid-19 vaccination research from pharmaceutical companies and research centres in the UK. While the true identity of the group behind these cyber-attacks remains unknown, a source from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) revealed that the group…

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Why Wildlife Traffickers are Escaping Justice

23 Jul, 2020
John M. Sellar OBE

The criminal exploitation of our planet’s species is bringing many of them close to extinction. This is occurring to numerous animals and plants, either as entire species or in geographically-restricted populations. In recent years, tigers have been eradicated from their historical territories in several countries of Southeast Asia, whilst massive swathes of South America’s…

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Organised Crime and the COVID-19 Outbreak: Repositioning the State

12 Jun, 2020
Dr Alexander Kupatadze

The ongoing debate surrounding the impact of Covid-19 on organised crime is incomplete. Whilst discussions have centred on the workings of mafia-type groups and other non-state actors, these are not the only important players in the field of organised crime. In recent decades we have seen many cases of high-ranking politicians and bureaucrats…

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A Precursor Chemicals and Adulterant Approach to Tackling Crack Cocaine Trafficking in the United Kingdom

9 Jun, 2020
Martin Verrier

According to a recent article published in The Times titled “Britain is cocaine capital of Europe”, cocaine use in the UK has increased by nearly 300 per cent in less than a decade. Cocaine trafficking, distribution and use has a significant impact on societal health, crime and development. Crack cocaine…

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Going Viral: Rio’s COVID-19 Gang Curfews as Seen from Twitter

3 Jun, 2020
Andrea Varsori

Rio de Janeiro’s criminal groups have, from time to time, attracted international attention. The news of their anti-coronavirus measures has made international headlines once more. Drug-dealing gangs have forcibly imposed curfews on the city’s population, against the backdrop of perceived state inaction in managing the spread of COVID-19. This blog takes a closer look at the gangs’…

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SECUR.PORT Workshop: A conceptual report and summary of activities

28 May, 2020
Dr Anna Sergi, Alexandria Reid, Dr Luca Storti and Professor Marleen Easton

In May 2020, the Secur.Ports workshop brought together 16 practitioners and 9 researchers with expertise in the field of port policing, port security, organised crime and border control. Funded by the British Academy, the workshop was organised by the University of Essex and Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research (SHOC) at the…

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