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Pathways into organized crime: comparing founders and joiners

Kemp, L; Zolghadriha, S; Gill, P; (2019) Pathways into organized crime: comparing founders and joiners. Trends in Organized Crime 10.1007/s12117-019-09371-w. (In press). Green open access

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This paper outlines research on the engagement processes and pathways into organised crime (OC). In recent years research on OC has increased, however there is still little understanding of how individuals become engaged in OC, and specifically whether differences exist in engagement patterns between certain groups of OC offenders. A content analysis was undertaken on the auto/biographies of one-hundred OC offenders to collect data on engagement processes. Quantitative analysis was used to identify significant differences in the engagement processes between OC offenders who join (‘joiners’) or form (‘founders’) an OC operation. The results revealed that measures pertaining to risk-factors, criminal trajectories, turning points, criminal motivations and social influences in engagement statistically differed between the groups. It was concluded that ‘founders’ were influenced by short-term criminal opportunities and economic considerations towards OC engagement, whilst ‘joiners’ were impacted more so by long-term social dynamics arising from ties and exposure to OC, such as one’s parents being engaged in OC. Both groups however, directly engaged through social dynamics. The current study provides preliminary findings which increase academic and practical understanding of the OC fraternity, but also the findings offer a basis on which to target legal interventions. Additionally, the new knowledge may be instrumental for building theories of OC engagement. Specifically, it is theorised that the circumstances in how ‘joiners’ become engaged in OC represents a ‘contagion process’.

Type: Article
Title: Pathways into organized crime: comparing founders and joiners
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12117-019-09371-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12117-019-09371-w
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Engagement, Founders, Joiners, Organized crime,
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081634
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