Drugs and Organised Crime: the threat
There are many forms of organised crime, posing a threat to peace and security. The government judges the most significant threats to the UK to be:
- Class A drugs trafficking, particularly cocaine, heroin and Ecstasy
- Organised immigration crime
- Fraud (particularly revenue and excise fraud such as cigarette smuggling)
- Cross-sector criminal activity
- Money laundering
- Paedophile crime, including on-line child abuse
- Hi-tech crime (particularly internet crime)
All of these criminal activities have a foreign dimension, and the majority can be addressed most effectively through collaboration and co-operation with foreign governments and their law enforcement agencies, to:
- Increase the probability of detection
- Disrupt criminal activities
- Remove the profit motive through seizure or confiscation of the proceeds of crime
Whilst drugs and crime problems vary from country to country, no society is immune. The perpetrators of organised crime activities do not respect borders and respond quickly to law enforcement efforts directed against them by diversifying their routes, marketing new types of drug, and using more diffuse methods for controlling and expanding the reaches of their criminal networks.
It is now more important than ever that a concerted approach is made to co-operate on an international level to tackle all aspects of the drugs problem and international crime in a comprehensive, co-ordinated and balanced way.