13 Apr 2022


Personal Perception of Organized Crime

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According to my understanding of Organized Crime, it refers to a group of people who are involved in a criminal activity in different parts of the states but whose decisions are centrally made. Their activities are centrally coordinated and executed. My perception is that organized criminals are those who aim at performing a criminal act such as burglary in a business premise, a banking institution, or a residential facility and acquiring the property of their interest which they share among themselves. The main forms of criminal activities that I perceive to be performed by organized criminals include drug trafficking, forceful entry into banking institutions and retail companies, and hijacking of cars and airplanes. It is also my perception that organized criminals do not operate as separate individuals, but work for a common goal of eradicating their target individuals if necessary by the use of weapons such as guns, ammunition, or poisoning in order to achieve the goals of their activities. Furthermore, I have the perception that organized crimes involve criminal activities where members undergo recruitment, training, and acquisition of skills of skills of committing crimes successfully before they can be fully become members of the groups ( Pankratz & Matiasek, 2012)

My perception of organized crimes is based on a number of assumptions. The first assumption is that organized crimes do not operate as individual criminals and they undertake their activities after developing a plan in which different actions will be performed by different individuals to achieve the overall goal of successfully committing a crime. My second assumption is that organized crimes have their central managers and decision makers to whom other members must be accountable. The central decision makers have to approve a particular criminal act such as an attack on an organization or an individual before other members can do so. The third assumption is that organized criminals provide different forms of support to one another during criminal acts and they may defend one of them when in the hands of the authority or when one of them faces the threat of being harmed ( Woodiwiss, 2000). 

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While my definition of organized crime focused on crimes committed using violent means, a study by Woodiwiss (2000) explains that it can involve a systematic and illegal act committed by groups of an individual for the purpose of acquiring power or profit. This article states that organized crime can be in the form of increased law enforcement capability of a particular state in the international community. Another contrast between my definition of organized crime and this article is that in my definition, I stated that organized crimes are those that are committed for the purpose of acquiring property illegally while in this article, it is stated that organized crimes can be in the forms of international trade, human trafficking, sales of counterfeit products, internet fraud, and terrorism. 

There is also a similarity in my perception of organized crimes and the definitions provided in some of the articles such as that of Hauck & Peterke (2010) which states that organized crimes may be in the form of violence against persons, trade in contraband products, trade in stolen cars, and extortions of multinational organizations. It also supports my perception that organized crimes include activities such as international drug cartels that are composed of few groups of individuals to large hierarchical organizations. 

Whether traditional mob groups, organizational criminal groups, government officials, or drug and human trafficking cartels, organized criminal groups have particular characteristics that are common among them. For example, they may be involved in an activity of supplying illegal products and services to the area in which they operate ( Pankratz & Matiasek, 2012) . The supply is usually conducted secretly in a manner that it cannot be detected by criminal detection and prevention agencies such as the police. In order to ensure their safety and survival, they are usually well armed with firearms or ammunitions for defeating their trackers. 

Another characteristic of organized crimes is that they operate in a pyramid power structure in a similar manner as businesses. They have bosses or Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), vice presidents, treasurers, accountants, technical staff, and lawyers in the same manner as business organizations. The boss has advisors who work closely in determining the tasks that need to be assigned to the crews and captains who perform different roles such as carrying out physical work and tasks such as collecting money and killing people ( Woodiwiss, 2000) . They also have men with special skills that enable them to carry out criminal acts in areas that are highly difficult to access. In most organized gangs, members are expected to be loyal to the group and they undergo initiation, swearing in the stage, and training to acquire skills which enable them to undertake a criminal act successfully as and increase the benefits to the gang. The training process involves ensuring they are specialized in particular areas of crime or multiple crimes depending on their ability to deliver the objectives of the organized criminal groups. There are instances of punishment for those who betray their loyalty to the group. Most punishments are in the forms of demotion or death depending on the severity of an offence. 

Most organized crime groups are monopolistic in their operations and are less likely to welcome other criminal groups with similar characteristics in their area of operations. They operate in specific areas, and engage in crimes with few numbers of persons, but continuously expand into other locations and recruit more members who are usually carefully selected ( Hauck & Peterke, 2010) . Irrespective of the area in which they operate, they ensure the monopoly of their criminal activities. They are ready to use violence or threats as a measure of eliminating competition. 

Organized criminal groups have the characteristic of maintaining reserve funds which can be used in case there is the need to seek the help of the police. The funds are mainly obtained from their operational revenues and used when they are faced with a suit that needs to be resolved ( Woodiwiss, 2000) . They may also need the intervention of politicians in order to overcome the challenge they are encountering. Organized criminal groups are also involved in the provision of cash or gifts, provision of help during elections, threatening their competitors, and making arrangements for foreign trips in order to secure protection from being arrested or convicted.


Hauck, P., & Peterke, S. (2010). Organized crime and gang violence in national and international law.  International Review of the Red Cross , 92 (878), 407-436. 

Pankratz, T., & Matiasek, H. (2012). Understanding Transnational Organised Crime. A Constructivist Approach towards a Growing Phenomenon.  SIAL Journal–Journal of Police Science and Practice 2 , 41-50. 

Woodiwiss, M. (2000, June). Organized Crime-The Dumbing of Discourse. In The British Criminology Conference: Selected Proceedings   3, 1-10. 

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