Maximising Impact from Serious Organised Crime Research

Reflections and Resources from the PaCCS Conference on Maximising Impact from Serious Organised Crime Research:

In the autumn of 2021, the Partnership for Conflict, Crime & Security Research (PaCCS) was delighted to welcome researchers, policymakers, industry professionals, and members of the third sector to our virtual conference on Serious Organised Crime. The conference, which focused on the theme of Maximising Impact from Serious Organised Crime Research, was designed with the goal of creating a space in which academics, policymakers, and practitioners could explore what new insights from research can offer to help us understand and undermine serious organised crime. Throughout the event, conference participants were given the opportunity to participate in roundtables, attend networking sessions and keynote addresses from both Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Jennifer Rubin and Chairman of the National Police Chiefs Council Martin Hewitt, and to hear from practitioners and early career researchers as part of a Serious Organised Crime Research Snapshot Expo. 

Throughout the first two days of this three-day event, conference delegates and observers participated in one of seven specific conference workstreams, which addressed the topics of Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking; Economic & Financial Crime; Blue & Green Crimes (Maritime & Environmental); Gangs & Syndicates (Arms, Drugs & Extortion); Victims & Harms (including Child Sexual Exploitation); Cyber-Crime & Online Criminal Markets; and Criminal Conflict & Political Violence. On days one and two of the event, held in September 2021, participants focused on the topics of ‘understanding serious organised crime’ and ‘undermining organised crime’. Meanwhile, the third day of the conference – held in October 2021 – was an opportunity to share and reflect on some of the findings emerging from the first two days of the event. This reflection day, facilitated and chaired by Sir Craig Mackey, featured insights and panel discussions from the seven Day 1 & Day 2 workstream chairs, and was made possible with the support of a team of early career researchers who complied notes and briefings throughout the first days of the event.

Insights on Maximising Impact from Serious Organised Crime Research:

“The reality is that Law Enforcement struggles with a lot of the new and emerging types of crime and threats, wherever it is in the world. It’s not all doom and despair. The reality is that there are many, many organizations doing some amazing work in this space. The challenge for all of us is how we join it up and how we bring those resources that we’ve got to bear against it. And this is where the research work is so important,” reflected Sir Craig Mackey, in his remarks to the delegates of the 2021 PaCCS Conference on Serious Organised Crime. The below playlist features remarks from Sir Craig Mackey, and videos from each of the seven workstream chairs in which they provide high-level summaries and share key takeaways from their workstreams. You can use the button on the top-right hand corner of the embedded YouTube window below to explore the videos in this collection, which includes videos on topics including human trafficking, financial crime, blue and green crimes, gangs and syndicates, victims and harms, cybercrime, and criminal conflict.

You can also view these selected videos from day three of our conference by clicking on the links in the table below. Each video will open in a new tab.

Opening Remarks from Sir Craig MackeySir Craig Mackey
Gangs & Syndicates Workstream FeedbackTim Symington
Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Workstream FeedbackSuzanne Raine
Victims & Harms Workstream FeedbackMike Barton
Blue & Green Crimes Workstream FeedbackSebastian Madden
Economic & Financial Crime Workstream FeedbackDeeph Chana
Cybercrime & Online Criminal Markets Workstream FeedbackGloria Laycock
Criminal Conflict & Political Violence Workstream FeedbackTim Wilson

Throughout the videos included in this collection, several cross-cutting themes emerge, including data problems and data paucity; inadequate metrics; the challenge of connecting the local and global; organisational boundaries; links between terrorism and crime; the role of cross-border and inter-agency collaboration; the importance of academic and private sector engagement; the role of NGOs, and the importance of capacity, capability, knowledge, skills, and resourcing. We anticipate the publication of a PaCCS Policy Briefing summarising some of the high-level findings from the conference- including a summary of key themes which emerged in these videos – in the new year. If you would like a copy of this policy briefing, please return to our website in early 2022 or email for further information.

Snapshot Presentations from Researchers and Practitioners: 

Throughout days 1 and 2 of the conference, delegates and observers were invited to wander between several parallel ‘drop-in’ sessions, where researchers and practitioners gave short presentations on topics related to the seven conference themes, and addressing issues related to understanding and undermining organised crime. The below playlist features a selection of these presentations, including several three-minute lightning talks given as part of our early career researcher snapshot competition. You can use the button on the top-right hand corner of the embedded YouTube window below to explore the videos in this collection.

Conference Resources:

Several of the presenters participating in the conference – including presenters in both the roundtable and snapshot sessions – have kindly contributed to a list of relevant resources on understanding and undermining serious organised crime. The below resources include presentation slides, papers, and organisation reports, and cover a wide array of topics ranging from lone wolf terrorists and wildlife traffickers, to tax abusers and cybercriminals. 

Understanding Serious Organised Crime: 

Resource TitleResource Author
The role of Turkey as a producing and transit country in counterfeit products that target EU countriesDilara Bural (Teesside)
Understanding Serious Organised Crime: The Role of the UK in Central Asia’s Clientelist PoliticsKatherine Crofts-Gibbons (King’s College London, Russia Institute)
Lessons from the past: How history can help us care for modern slavery survivors todayAnna Forringer-Beal, (Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge)
At the Edges of Terror: An Assessment of the Role of Lone Wolf Terrorists, Terrorist Group Participants and Organised Criminals in Contemporary TerrorismMartin J. Gallagher (University of Lancaster/ Police Scotland)
Newspaper representations of transnational human traffickingIlse Ras (Leiden University)
The Social Harm of Self-Generated Indecent Images of Children – Is it a problem for Law Enforcement?Nicole Woodhall (The Open University / The National Crime Agency)
Secur.Ports Organised Crime in Commercial SeaportsDr Anna Sergi, University of Essex
From Vulnerability to Violence: Gangs and ‘Homicide Booms’ in Trinidad and BelizeAdam Baird, Coventry University
“Breaking bad?” Gangs, masculinities, and murder in TrinidadAdam Baird, Matthew Louis Bishop & Dylan Kerrigan
Exploring Hidden Narratives in the West African Tramadol trade and transport of migrantsGernot Klantschnig, Elodie Apard & Philippe Frowd
Journey into Hell […where] migrants froze to deathChristiana Gregoriou, Ilse A Ras & Nina Muzdeka
Case Digest: Initial Analysis of the Financial Flows and Payment Mechanisms Behind Wildlife and Forest CrimeTraffic
Trading Years for Wildlife: Wildlife crime from the perspectives of offenders in NamibiaTraffic
World Wildlife Crime Report: Trafficking in protected speciesUNODC
Illegal Wildlife Trade: The case of Ivory and Tanzania Chris Alden, LSE
Understanding the challenge: how cybercrime has evolved to become a modern Serious Organised CrimeDavid S Wall, University of Leeds
The Transnational Cybercrime Extortion Landscape and the Pandemic: changes in ransomware offender tactics, attack scalability and the organisation of offendingDavid S Wall, University of Leeds
The Social Harm of Self-Generated Indecent Images of Children – Is it a Problem for Law Enforcement?Nicole Woodall, Centre of Policing Research and Learning

Undermining: Serious Organised Crime: 

Resource TitleAuthor
The Micro-Geopolitics of Organised CrimeFausto Carbajal-Glass (UCL)
Understanding the organisation of tax abuse in professional footballPeter Duncan (Manchester)
The organisation of mortgage fraud and the regulation of financial services in England and WalesJonathan Gilbert (School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University)
Brexit and Internal Securtiy: Anticipating Threats from Organised CrimeJakub Pintér (UCL)
Prosecuting Financial Crimes Involving CryptocurrenciesArianna Trozze (UCL)
The ‘Disposable Army’ and Traditional Organised CrimeDr Anna Sergi, University of Essex
C.R.I.M.E. Countering regional Italian Mafia ExpansionDr Anna Sergi, University of Essex
Scenario-Driven Assessment of Cyber Risk Perception at the Security Executive LevelSimon Parkin, Kristen Kuhn & Siraj Ahmed Shaikh
Detecting and Preventing Mass-Market ScamsTom Sorell, University of Warwick
The implications of developments in cybercrime for cybersecurity and law enforcement? (AND overcoming the data-sharing paradox), David S Wall, University of Leeds
​The confluence between crime and jihadist terror in EuropeJavier Argomaniz

Policy Briefing: