This crime. The Palermo Convention 2000 is an international

This essay will begin by defining what is meant by the term organised crime in order to give a clarification before later on explaining what is meant by transnational crimes, and what factors contribute to making organised crime transnational. When defining organised and transnational organised crime, I am will be referring to the ‘Palermo Convention 2000’ in order to see how these terms are understood globally. Following on from this, I will discuss the seriousness and level threat that proceeds transnational organised crime and why it is a big problem that needs to be considered ‘serious’ in order to get the full effective treatment and recognition from the United Nations and various other policing organisations, such as Interpol and EUROPOL. Next, the focus will be on fighting transnational crime on national and international levels, and what policing techniques are employed in order to combat these complex crimes. I will then draw upon the difficulties that states face when policing transnational crime, and how globalisation has played a key part in the expansion of these crimes. Lastly, concluding thoughts will attempt to demonstrate the importance of multilateral and national preemptive policing techniques that states employ as the fundamental way of fighting transnational crime. The Palermo Convention 2000 is an international framework which sets legal guidelines in how countries should universally define transnational crime. This framework is important because it sets specific boundaries for what is to be considered as a transnational and organised crime. This is particularly critical because when a crime is classified as organised or transnational, it is considered ‘serious’, meaning that a country must involve national and international efforts including the United Nations. Article 3 of the Palermo Convention 2000 (United Nations Office On Drugs And Crime 2004) states that an offence is transnational in nature if: it is committed in more than one state (making it transnational), it is committed in one state but a substantial part of its preparation, planning, direction or control takes place in another state, it is committed in one state but involves an organised criminal group that engages in criminal activities in more than one start, and finally, if it committed in one state but has substantial effects in another state. Drawing upon these key elements which together define and set a guideline for a transnational crime, it considers for every component to be ‘serious’. In addition, It is crucial that criminal activities are only classified as an organised crime if they are serious. This originates from The Palermo Convention 2000 article 2, where it states that an organised criminal group is a “…Structured group of three or more people, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offences, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit” (United Nations Of Office On Drugs And Crime 2004). The emphasis is on the term “serious”, as this is what distinguishes organised crime from any other crimes such as street crime. Article 2 of The Palermo Convention 2000 also defines the term ‘serious crime’. It states that a crime is considered serious if “…Conduct constituting an offence punishable by a maximum deprivation of liberty of at least four years or a more serious penalty”. However, a critical viewpoint of this definition is that the punishment or length of a sentence for a serious crime is dependant on which country prosecutes. As a matter of fact, in the legal definition, it states “deprivation of liberty of at least four years…” meaning that the severity of imprisonment varies from country to country. For example, in the United Kingdom, the sentence for committing a serious crime is seven years. In addition, this can work in the favour of the organised criminals as they can manipulate and plan their organised crime around what countries are more lenient. if a transnational organised criminal group is planning out a serious crime, for example, drug trafficking, they can plan the route in accordance of how severe each country’s punishment is, meaning they are “cheating borders”. For this reason, it is important for states to fight transnational crimes on a serious level, involving effective policing from a national as well as international level. According to the National Crime Agency, Organised crime is defined as a serious crime that is coordinated and conducted by people working together on a continuing basis. The main purpose and motivation that drive organised crime groups to commit such serious and complex crimes are either financially or power driven (Rothe and Friedrichs 2015). For example, terrorists are power and politically driven. Whereas, drug traffickers are financially driven. Organised crime is no longer viewed as a purely domestic or local problem, but has become transnational and effectively, “borderless” in nature (Godson and Williams 2001), which poses extensive difficulties and problems to the states as they will have to employ new policing strategies rather than implementing traditional forms of policing. Transnational organised crime is organised crime coordinated across national borders of different states and countries. Due to every nation having different laws, it is often difficult to fight organised crime, especially transnationally effectively because of the lack of agreement and cooperation between nations. Transnational organised crime has been a hot topic for criminologists for years. It is not until recently, an agreement for how transnational crime should be addressed has come to light. The rapid growth in the scale of the problem in the post-cold war world led to the passage of the United Nations Convention against transnational organized crime, which came into effect in late 2003. It is important to note that transnational crime is not a new phenomenon. Pirates, hundreds of years ago, engaged in a form of transnational crime (Rothe and Friedrichs 2015). But as Louise Shelley (2011: 3) notes, “What has changed from the earlier decades of transnational crime is the speed, the extent, and diversity of the actors involved. Globalization has increased the opportunities for criminals, and criminals have been among the major beneficiaries of globalization”. This demonstrates that globalization is one of the major forces that has driven and changed the nature of organised crime. One possibility is due to the technological revolution through the past couple of decades which has helped organised criminals in the preparation and planning of transnational organised crimes. For example, organised criminals are able to communicate online faster than ever before due to new technology that has made this possible. Williams and Vlassis (2001:270) note that “…the widespread political, economic, social and technological changes that have occurred within the last two decades have allowed organized criminal groups to become increasingly active in the international arena”. Technology has also contributed to a new form of transnational organised crime- cybercrime. Cybercrime is a form of organised crime which is in essence ‘borderless’ in nature due to the crimes being committed in the ‘cyberspace’. This means that nations are having to recruit more specialist police who are skilled enough to police crimes in the cyber world. Concern about transnational crime began during the 1990s when criminal activity began to cross national borders to a significant extent. Likewise, the globalisation of contemporary societies has meant that criminal activity that was once primarily a national concern has increasingly become transnational in nature. Transnational crimes involve criminal activity that crosses state boundaries and borders. Due to the magnitude and complexity of these crimes, it is necessary and vital that nations and states must work together to police these crimes effectively. It is because of this that there has been an expansion of police cooperation in response to growth in cross-border crime, and nations now combat transnational organised crime on a national and international level; each of these levels involves different types of policing. Whether this involves Interpol, Europol, or simply two (or more) nations cooperating together to combat organised crimes. It is crucial that nations cooperate together when fighting transnational crimes because crimes being planned or committed across borders means that more than one state is being affected resulting in a possible conflict over who gets the jurisdiction of prosecuting the criminals. In addition, it is down to the states involved where the criminal activity was planned, or taken place, to share intelligence and evidence in order to maximise the likelihood of catching such organised criminal groups, and assist in preventing further crimes from being committed. Furthermore, another reason why states police and treat transnational crime seriously, and involve international agencies to help combat these crimes, is because the crimes involved are a threat to the weakness of the state. Additionally, transnational crimes are a threat to: democracy, state institutions, individuals and the economy. Thus, organised crime is understood as a threat to the national well-being of the state. It is for this reason that nations use rigorous policing techniques to fight transnational organised crimes. Drake, Muncie & Westmarland (2010) points out that one way to effectively police transnational crimes is by ‘hot spot’ policing. Whereby internationally mobile private armies travel to ‘hot spots’, ostensibly to provide ‘security’. This can be related to policing migration, drug trafficking or crimes that involve the physical movement across and entering into borders. For example, for drugs to enter the United Kingdom, they need to travel globally from the country of production. In order for states to prevent or minimise the drugs coming into the country, they will enforce higher and stricter policing which will involve more immigration officials and searches of certain infrastructures. Nadelmann (2006: 188) demonstrated that “If transnational policing is a response to the needs and demands of increasingly integrated world economies (licit and illicit trade), the opportunity for criminal activities, or for those activities that governments seek to control, will also increase and continually change and develop”. Thus, by enforcing ‘hot spot’ policing on the border, this will effectively decrease the number of drugs entering the criminal economy, thus efficaciously decreasing the demand and supply for such goods. Because of transnational organised crimes extremely complex nature, it is generalizable to state that in order to combat such crimes, it is more effective to implement preventative techniques and increase the risk attached to such crimes (Yuriy 2000). This is because of the highly structured business-like model, which makes it harder for states to track down the criminals involved as they might be placed in different nations. Thus, employing preventative law enforcement strategies will be more effective and efficient. The structure of methods to control and fight transnational organised crime within the framework of national jurisdictions (as well as on the international level) consists of general preventive and special measures, which need to be a united complex, but in practice are seriously flawed in their completeness and systematization. It is evident that such preventative measures to fight transnational crime are flawed because the scale and threat are continually increasing, this is due to globalization giving criminals the resources they need to commit such complex crimes. Moreover, preemptive policing largely focuses on the level of risk attached to a crime, and what techniques are used to reduce the risk. To be able to reduce risks, police must anticipate actions to prevent something from happening. In order to effectively do this, ‘knowledge work’ has become essential for fighting transnational crimes. The more knowledge a nation has on a criminal network or activity, the greater the chance they have of preventing them from committing any more crimes. When a crime has been committed across borders, involving more than one state, it is essential that nations exchange evidence and intelligence in order to collaborate and work together. The emphasis on police knowledge work is central to the development and practice of transnational policing. For instance, the main tasks of Europol and Interpol include collecting and analyzing intelligence, preparing situation reports and crime analysis, and maintaining a central database for various crime categories (Sheptycki 1998; Bowling 2009). However, due to the complexities of such transnational crimes, and because they involve more than one nation, the question is asked of whom transnational policing agencies are accountable for, especially when they often operate covertly, in secret, above any single government and outside of public control. (Bowling 2009). In regards to policing transnational organised crime, Le, Bell and Lauchs (2013) argue that the critical success factors for international cooperation are embedded within policing powers, capabilities and resources between states. It is crucial for nations to effectively police transnational organized crimes because the extensive nature of the activity continues to challenge traditional methods of policing that have attempted to control its influence. In effect, the growth of transnational organized crime appears “beyond the competence of the traditional criminal justice investigative agencies” (Findlay 1995: 282). Thus, an international approach to policing is essential and responses to transnational organized crime must be “…extensive in scope, multilateral in form and to the extent, possible, global in reach” (Godson and Williams 2001:329). The main elements that states must comply with when fighting transnational organized crime are: sharing intelligence, coordinating operations, securing evidence and targeting suspects. However, Block (2008) argues that “targeting suspects” will not alone destroy organised criminal networks. This is due to the complexity of the crime and the immensely structured criminal network; by arresting one key party member will not have a substantial effect on the rest of the organised criminal group. However, it will give the police more of a chance of getting any additional information from the perpetrator about any future plans. When assessing the elements of policing transnational organized crime, Le, Bell and Lauchs (2013) draw upon Benyons (1994) three-tiered system which describes the macro, meso and micro levels of police cooperation in fighting transnational organised crime. As such, this reveals how states fight such crimes nationally and internationally in contemporary times. In terms of the macro level of policing, the main focus is on government decision making on issues such as the police’s operational powers across borders. For example, their power to arrest, to interrogate and surveille. To expand, in order for states to successfully and effectively fight transnational crime, the government must distribute powers and responsibilities to forces in order to respond to the organised crime. On the other hand, the meso level is concerned with the structural frameworks in which the operational policing occurs. In particular, this involves the establishment of specialist task forces, intimate communication between officers, linking information systems and coordinating access to shared criminal intelligence databases.The exchanging and sharing of intelligence is crucial to the success of international police when combating transnational organised crime because it builds a knowledge database of actual and potential criminal activity outside of their jurisdiction (Lemieux 2010). By having knowledge of such criminals and criminal activities, states are able to employ preventative measures in order to slow down or stop the commission of an organised crime, to ensure safety to nations and people. This follows on to the micro level; the micro level involves the investigations of such crimes and the prevention and control of specific offences through the use of formal and informal policing networks and social control. Lemieux (2010), suggests that networking is often cited as a key factor which contributes to positive outcomes for international police cooperation when combating transnational organised crime. As such, Le, Bell and Lauchs (2013) argue that the practices of liaison officers demonstrate the importance of shared intelligence and knowledge across borders as being vital to effective policing when fighting transnational organised crime. However, Benyons three-tiered system can be flawed, as it excludes any physical policing techniques in combating organised crime. Rather, it over emphasises the use of preemptive techniques and the use of shared intelligence across nations, as this solely cannot deter organised crimes as they are too large and complex in nature.  In addition, Benyon (1994) states that the key hindrance to policing transnational organised crime is the lack of knowledge and understanding of the nature and extent of such crimes. It is for this reason that in order to conduct a successful investigation into transnational organised crimes, nations must be dependent on having specific types of knowledge. Dean, Filstad and Gottschalk (2006) argue that states must have knowledge on: the criminals, their relationships and organization (criminal networks), the transport and financial infrastructures which facilitate the crimes, criminal laws, and the illicit markets which seek a demand and supply element.  Thus, in order to fight transnational organised crimes today, states must have a substantial amount of knowledge on the criminal group and network. This knowledge is the fundamental base in which the policing of such crimes begin. It is important for states thus to cooperate with each other, as sharing knowledge and evidence about criminal groups and networks could help them out in the long-term. As such, states cooperate by exchanging evidence (knowledge and intelligence) and assisting each other legally. It is also important to mention that countries in the European Union are able to arrest other countries criminals due to the European arrest warrant. This is a key example of countries and states cooperating and working together to tackling transnational organised crime. National policing and border control is also critical to stopping organized crime. In an era of globalization, Interpol is the world’s intermediary for police cooperation. Interpol helps tackle organised crimes through communicating with each of its 177 membership countries; Interpol “…undertakes a worldwide coordinated and cooperative law enforcement response that is consistent with the fundamental democratic principles of justice” (Williams & Vlassis 2001: 273), meaning that it attacks organised crime groups lawfully within the boundaries of each affected state. This approach takes into account that every nation has different approaches to fighting transnational organised crimes. It is important to note that not every state has the same amount of resources to deal with criminal activity, effectively meaning that each state deals with transnational organised crime differently, as some countries may have limited police or funds. Thus, difficulties and problems arise when countries cooperate to tackle such serious crimes, especially as this involves numerous states and legal systems, having to work together coherently. interpol thus must continue to serve as a bridge that links the law enforcement agencies of the world. Furthermore, Interpol’s priority is to secure communication among law enforcement agencies, to manage international criminal databases, to provide operational support during crises, and to train police forces. However, with a budget of roughly $75 million in 2010 (Council on Foreign Relations 2013), the agency is grossly underfunded. It also holds no authority to conduct investigations independently or to arrest suspects, and is therefore only as strong as the host country’s police force. To conclude, globalisation has been a major factor contributing to the rise of transnational crimes today. Newburn (2005) observed that recent decades have seen a significant expansion in international and increasingly, transnational policing bodies, suggesting that the role of transnational policing organisations will increase. Because of the increasing threat that poses every nation of incoming transnational crimes, states cooperate and work together by sharing intelligence and knowledge in order to destroy specific criminal networks. By implementing such techniques globally, states hope to prevent and deter transnational crimes by using high policing and ‘hot spot’ policing across the borders to prevent illicit goods and migrants from entering the country. With the help of Interpol and Europol, states are able to share knowledge, databases and arrest warrants which enable countries to prosecute organised criminals from different countries. This is effective because it increases the likelihood of catching the criminals and destroying the criminal network in order to prevent any future crimes from happening. However, as mentioned before, by catching a single organised criminal, this does not necessarily mean that the whole criminal network will collapse. Thus, it is important for nations to investigate and study the criminal networks closely before prosecuting,