In spite of the assertion by federal law enforcement agencies, attempts aimed at reducing the prevalence rate of organized crime have yielded little success. This has been mainly because the law enforcement agencies have clung to flawed form of organized crime, the conspiracy theory. This theory views organized crime as a criminal commercial entity consisting of ethnically or culturally unique strange groupings that jeopardizes the fundamental solid political and economical establishments. This strategy has resulted in increased arrests, prosecution and other models of punishments. However, it has not succeeded in reducing the prevalence rate of organized criminal activities within the society. A more rational and efficient strategy to law enforcement is therefore proposed.
According to federal bureau of investigation, organized crime can be defined as any criminal activity committed by an individual based at, in a recognized division of labor, a position meant for the commission of crime. The division of labor involved must have at least one post for a corrupted individual, another one post for the individual corrupting who is also termed as corruptee, and one post for a supporter of the criminal activity (Lampe, 2009). Organized crime can involve two or more individuals who are strong-minded to perform two things which include obtaining goods or services which cannot be found through legal means like sale of illegal drugs or alcohol, sexual exploitation practices or even money laundering (Farrell, 2009). These activities result in huge amounts of profits which the people involved in organized crime get. Many of these activities and other related ones are dependent on the public so as to survive. The second objective of the organized criminals is to carry out greedy crime. Examples of predatory crimes include physical attack, arson, kidnapping, and theft. Involvement in socially wrong activities like the ones listed above is the reason for the bad image the organized crime has (Lampe, 2009). The greatest problem which faces the agencies trying to fight organized crime is the way of convincing the general public of the dangers associated with getting benefits from these activities which appears to be harmless. Although many citizens cannot tolerate most of these activities, they might promote their occurrence unknowingly through provision of funds (Jeffries & Gleeson, 1995).
Control of organized crimes
Organized criminal activities can be classified into five categories. The first area is racketeering which is an overall term used to describe a situation where one or several groups carry out many of the criminal activities. The federal government has succeeded in curbing the actions of hardcore criminals by formation of the RICO Act which is involved in controlling racketeering and other corrupt groups. The second category of criminal area is vice operations. This area is involved in activities which do not victimize people like selling drugs, gambling and even prostitution. The survival of such activities like prostitution depends on the public. Prevention of entry of illegal drugs in the area seems easy to control, however it is difficult to prevent the sale of these drugs once they have reached the market (Hall, 2007).
The third area of criminal activity is theft or fencing rings. This explains a situation when a group of criminals who are involved in one kind of criminal activity gets money or goods through illegitimate way and then sells the goods obtained in order to get profit. It may involve things like deception at all levels, faking documents to even grand theft auto. The forth area of organized criminal activity is gang. In such groups, the main objective of involvement in criminal activities is to obtain wealth, improve social status, or even to achieve a predetermined goal. A gang can comprise of the young and the old regardless of gender. The last area of organized criminal activity is terrorism. In this area any group can be involved in criminal activity so as to illegally affect social and or governmental policies or outcomes.
Policies which were formulated for the control of organized crime employs two approaches with the first approach directed towards the members of the organized crime while the second strategy focuses on the structural features and market connections that favor the growth of organized crime. The two approaches developed do show very different assumptions on how the human and economic resources which are available for the control of organized resources should be applied (Jeffries & Gleeson, 1995).
Approaches used in controlling the members of organized crime groups are likely to engage the use of the criminal justice system which helps in prosecution of the criminals found. Local states and federal agencies have employed a wide variety of investigative and prosecutorial missiles to stop organized crime. They include widespread use of wiretaps, witness protection and witness protection programs, and special impressive juries. The most successful prosecutorial tool ever used in control of organized crime is Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). This act criminalizes acquisition of interest in taking part in the affairs of, or investing the profits obtained from a business via a pattern of racketeering activity (Farrell, 2009).
The policies used are criticized to have an intrinsic shortcoming in that they continue from the theory that control by use of prosecution of members of an organized group is almost the same with control of such groups. It is also cited to confuse the arrest and prosecution of the criminals to the control of the actions in which the criminals operate. These strategies only remove some illegal business people from the market while the ones which remain become strong in the business. This is because of the likelihood of law enforcers to only prosecute small and weak business holders leaving the well established entrepreneurs (Hall, 2007).
There is a suggestion that instead of concentrating on the members of the organized crimes, it is important to focus on the surroundings where businesses which involve organized crime groups are operated. This implies that the control of the organized crime can be directed to the market instead on law enforcement. Such a strategy will aim at legalizing the goods and services that creates the foundation for many organized crime markets. This approach brings about the risk since it is not mandatory that legalization of the goods and services which are illegal will result in demolition of illegal market, instead it can result in a social environment that supports illegal conduct (Jeffries, Gleeson, 1995).
Another method of crime control will involve following money. Since organized crime actions promote the buildup of large amounts of money, money should be the object of policy attention (Hall, 2007). Money laundering by organized crime groups has encouraged the connection between organized crime groups and legal organization and also between these groups and states which rely on the illegal businesses as the source of revenue. Because of increased attention on money laundering, there have been creations of laws and policies that deny the offenders the profits obtained via seizing or even freezing property obtained from the organized crimes. Efficient money laundering policies requires some level of international cooperation which is not achievable because of differences in enforcement resources or even in political spirit. The strategy also relies on lasting illegal operations, stings, and the employment of spies and all these requirements create difficult ethical problems (Farrell, 2009).
The survival of organized criminal organization depends on the environment where they are operating. When the people of a certain community view a criminal with sympathy instead of condemning them, the criminals will operate with a lot of zeal. Allowing criminals to feel comfortable within our finances, our society teachings, our way of thinking; acquiring criminal way of thinking so as to prosper in our legal business activities, makes the people involved not to be responsible citizens. The societies where we live are described as being dirty all through since we value some of our criminals more than we do to the legitimate leaders.
When everybody decides that crime will become an issue, it will persist as a threatening problem for all of us. Various agencies are not able to effectively control the problem of organized crimes but have to involve the law enforcement organizations to struggle to attain a new level of information sharing. Organized crimes rotates the world and its impacts is felt everywhere around the globe. The organization is expansive and highly connected enemy for any law enforcement agency willing to eradicate their kingdom of influence from criminal essentials. It must be combated by organized laws, organized cities, governments, provinces, and commonwealths forming organized countries that do not allow enticement of victimless crimes like drug trafficking and harmless funs like gambling. A concrete solution is required and until this is achieved, people will continue to suffer from the oppressive rule of criminal powers.
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