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.


Who or What are ‘Police’? A Speculation on Why Organised ‘Crime’ Succeeds

22 Feb, 2021
Mark Nuttall

Police are not police and the law is not the law everywhere, one must be reminded, as I strolled through the hallowed centrepiece of Interpol’s Lyonnais HQ, having transposed myself from Singapore to assist in the presentation of a global gathering of law enforcement and others. This was quite a few years after leaving…

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Disrupting Serious and Organised Crime: What Role for UK Sanctions?

18 Dec, 2020
Cathy Haenlein

As the UK establishes its post-Brexit independent sanctions regime, the potential to use sanctions against serious and organised crime has attracted growing attention. To add value, any move in this direction requires a clear strategy as to how sanctions would complement existing law enforcement tools. Recent months have seen the…

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Italy, Covid-19 and the Development of Mafias

17 Dec, 2020
Martina Bedetti

Following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, Italy was one of the first countries to implement extreme measures in an attempt to contain the drastic impact of the pandemic. With the domestic health system on the verge of collapse, restrictions to movement were imposed across the…

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Is the UK Engaging Meaningfully with Counter-Narcotics in Afghanistan?

16 Dec, 2020
Dr Philip A. Berry

In recent evidence to a House of Lords committee examining United Kingdom (UK) policy in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Baroness Goldie warned that the Afghan narcotics trade, which accounts for approximately 85 per cent of global heroin, poses ‘a key threat to our national security interests.’ The threat, she argued, was multifaceted: ‘95 per…

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Spaces of Influence, Power and Violence: The Micro-Geopolitics of Organised Crime

1 Dec, 2020
Fausto Carbajal Glass

Although not new, the creation of illicit economies by organised crime has swiftly become an ever-present phenomenon in the 21st century. Criminal groups have diversified economically into the lucrative business of, for instance, logging in various countries of Latin America, the exploitation and trade in wildlife in countries in Africa, charcoal trade in Somalia, oil theft in Nigeria and…

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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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