- Models and structure of organized crime
- Hierarchical model of organized criminal groups
- Local, cultural model of organized crime
- Enterprise or business model of organized crime
- Focusing on groups versus activities
- New forms of organized crime: networked structures
Published in May 2018
Regional Perspective: Pacific Islands Region - added in November 2019
Regional Perspective: Eastern and Southern Africa - added in April 2020
This module is a resource for lecturers
The definition of an organized crime group was an initial task in the negotiation of the Organized Crime Convention. The definitions of an organized criminal group and a structured group, in article 2, set the stage.
Article 2 of the Organized Crime Convention
For the purposes of this Convention:
(a) "Organized criminal group" shall mean a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit; […]
(c) "Structured group" shall mean a group that is not randomly formed for the immediate commission of an offence and that does not need to have formally defined roles for its members, continuity of its membership or a developed structure;
As illustrated in Module 1, for the purpose of the Organized Crime Convention, an organized criminal group is a "structured" group of three or more persons, which exists for a period of time. The Convention specifies that formally defined roles - or hierarchy - are not needed, nor is a continuous membership or a developed structure. On the other hand, the group cannot be randomly formed for the immediate commission of an offence.
The definition of organized criminal groups thus provides a framework for their identification and prosecution, while also implicitly recognizing that there are many different types of them and flexibility is needed in defining the term. This Module will focus on the different models of organized criminal groups that have been identified and studied thus far.
- Structured group
- Hierarchical model
- Local/cultural model
- Enterprise model
- Networked model
- Understand how individuals organize into organized criminal groups of various kinds.
- Distinguish models of organized crime (hierarchical, cultural, enterprise, networked).
- Evaluate the difference in focus of the models on the nature of organized crime groups versus the nature of organized crime activity.