Reducing the impact of serious organised crime in local communities 

Read our latest briefing: The impact of organised crime on local communities

The Police Foundation and Perpetuity Research have completed a two-year study which focused on understanding the impact of serious organised crime in local communities and how this threat is tackled locally. 

Some of the most harmful crimes are unacknowledged or not prioritised by the police due to low levels of reporting and the limitations of data collected on it. We developed a narrative for organised crime that is rooted at the local level, with a view to recommending local solutions to improving understanding and reducing these harms.

The approach

Members of the research team were based within three cities in two UK police force areas. They examined police data sets, interviewed practitioners and where possible, drew on data or input from local or national agencies outside the police service. The study assessed:

  • The scale and distribution of victimisation caused by organised crime. 
  • The impact of organised crime on local communities. 
  • The nature of organised crime that impacts locally. 
  • The effectiveness of the response from police and partner agencies.

What did we find?

Through developing innovative methods we explored the presence of organised crime in different contexts including:

  • Fraud - a largely overlooked and poorly understood high volume crime with indications of a link to organised crime. 
  • Child sexual exploitation - an increasing number of victims are at risk from this crime and much of the exploitation is linked to groups of two or more members. 
  • Exploitation in the adult sex market - a rife but largely overlooked market. There is evidence that many criminals are profiting and exploiting those working in brothels. 
  • Acquisitive crime - there is evidence that a high number of shoplifting offences are linked to groups of associated offenders.

New publications

We have published a series of papers which focus on distinct themes that arose from the research and key learning. 

A full report that brings all the findings into one place will be published in 2017.

What’s next?

The Police Foundation and Perpetuity Research are continuing with their successful partnership to collaborate on a follow-up study focusing on improving the local response to fraudFind out more...