According to a recent report by the Police University College, organized crime typically involves transnational, network-based activities facilitated by information technology and infiltrates the legitimate economy. Therefore, it is crucial for Finland to develop its own national strategy to combat professional and organized crime. This is important both for defining unified objectives and for coordinating and enhancing national and international cooperation.
The studies of the Police University College have been commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior, and they are part of the renewal of the strategy for combating organized crime.
The study serves the updating of the strategy for prevention of and fight against crime. Prevention of organized crime presents three major challenges.
During the workshop, discussions were held using the Timeout method
The study was based on interviews with 82 experts and discussions of themes emerging from a literature review in a workshop conducted using the Timeout method. A total of 66 experts by experience of disengagement from criminal activities and subject matter experts participated in the workshop.
The discussions were facilitated by employees of the Timeout Foundation and a Timeout consultant. The participants were divided into four different groups, and all discussions were documented.
The workshop addressed methods for preventing youth crime and the possibilities of administrative crime control. Participants were asked to raise challenges related to administrative measures and contemplate solutions to those challenges.
Key findings of the study
The study serves the updating of the strategy for prevention of and fight against crime. Prevention of organized crime presents three major challenges:
- The diversity of organized crime requires cross-administrative production, collection and analysis of information and integration of grassroot level operators in the efforts. We need more broad-based cooperation to be able to expose and understand networked and agilely adaptable crime that utilizes information networks.
- The second challenge relates to the development of an administrative approach alongside crime prevention in the judicial process. Large-scale infiltration of crime in economic life should be prevented in Finland.
- Certain parts of popular culture and social media content give a false impression of professional and serious crime, as these are marketed as a way to succeed in life. New ways should be identified to prevent this phenomenon from gaining ground.
The development themes for effective long-term prevention include strengthening situational awareness and information-driven approaches, administrative crime control, as well as protecting children and young people from factors that expose them to criminal activities and influences that romanticize crime.