There is a lack of empirical research on organised crime in the UK and no consensus on how to define it. Little good quality information exists and researchers have difficulty accessing it. Efforts to examine the scale and nature of organised crime are also hindered by under-reporting by victims and methodological difficulties in identifying links between recorded crimes and the OCGs that are directly or indirectly responsible.

The two-year research project reported here aimed to overcome some of these difficulties by developing a methodology to systematically interrogate police crime and intelligence data to assess the scale, nature and impact of organised crime on local communities. The aims were to capture and explore the full range of organised crimes occurring in three neighbourhoods in Coventry and Wolverhampton including those that were hidden from or overlooked by local enforcement, and identify some of the key vulnerabilities in the community to organised crime. The research also sought to assess the local response from both local police and partner agencies in light of recent policy developments.

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