Global Crimes: an international response

When we consider instances of criminality and the enforcement of laws to curb instances of crime, rarely do we assess if the crime goes beyond the neighborhood or town limits. If a crime or an act of crime is flashed on the television or printed in the papers, we seldom think if this crime has implication in another part of the globe. But to law enforcement authorities, the scope of the crime must always be taken in whether this particular crime has involvement from foreign groups or just local in nature.

How is the international community coping with the crimes that have crossed borders, and what are the strategies in the fight against transnational crime? It is now recognized that the problem of transnational crime cannot be ignored anymore. Crimes and the dispensation of justice for these crimes have reached the international attention level that must be met on a global scale (Graeme Newman, 1999).

In a recent forum on crime prevention, the chief of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime asked that member states of the United Nations to craft a viable plan of action to deal with the threat of global crime (United Nations Information Service, 2007). In his speech, Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa averred that many nations still experience a dearth of logistical intelligence to deal with syndicated crime acts (Costa, 2007). These activities include such nefarious acts like money laundering, identity theft, corruption and cyber crime among others (United Nations, 2007).

It was recognized in the summit that the threat of organized crime is one of the preeminent security issues that the world has to deal with (United Nations, 2007). Unfortunately, the answer so far has been made in a dense haze that is making efforts at combating this threat inutile (United Nations, 2007). Acosta (2007) states that the world cannot begin to realize the depth of the threat and the growth of the crime syndicates cannot be measured (United Nations, 2007).

In the convention, the countries were made to realize that there were instruments by which the growth of these organized crime groups can be arrested and even extinguished (United Nations, 2007). It is without a doubt that the prevalence of crime has been on the upswing across the globe (United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, 2000). The trend towards globalization has provided for the breeding ground for the continuing spread of crime internationally (Crime Prevention, 2000).

International crime groups have broadened their scope of illegal activities, from arms smuggling to narcotics to money laundering activities (Crime Prevention, 2000). In this regard, it is the consensus of many states that in order to counter the spread of international crime, they need to come together and cooperate with each other (Crime Prevention, 2000). In 1948, the member states of the United Nations affirmed the significance of the need to combat crimes permeating through the borders of the various member nations (Crime Prevention, 2000).

During that year, the United Nations established its agency to combat the threat of criminality on a global scale (Crime Prevention, 2000). The Center for International Crime Prevention is the body tasked by the group to monitor reforms in criminal law, crime prevention and justice (Crime Prevention, 2000). Its focus is to arrest the activities of human smuggling, corruption and organized crime syndicates operating or present in several countries (Crime Prevention, 2000).

Why should the group monitor these particular crimes? The statistics will bear out the gravity of the crimes in relation to human factors and economic harm. Smugglers can move an estimated 4 million illegal refugees in a year, raking in around 5 to 7 billion dollars in the process (Crime Prevention, 2000). The corruption in the countries that the groups engender has devastating effects on the world market as a whole (Crime Prevention, 2000).