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Personal Perception of Organized Crime

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Crime concerns many Americans today; it has always been a major issue throughout history. The true definition of organized crime has been speculated upon for a century. There has been many U.S. investigations and governmental studies done in order to define organized crime. The United Kingdom has also examined what can be the appropriate definition. Once the definition of organized crime was figured out, it was then redefined. The term organized crime has been split into several ways to define and identify. The ultimate issue of understanding organized crime is not the word crime but the word organized. Definition of organized crime

When I think of organized crime I picture the Italian and Sicilian Mafioso of television. I define organized crime as a single criminal organization made up of criminals of Italian descent that breaks a political or moral principle. Lyman and Potter (2007) stated that there were many investigations and governmental studies that convinced members of law enforcement and the media that organized crime is dominated by a single, monolithic criminal organization made up of criminals of Italian descent—the Mafia. There were some academics and scholars that studied the phenomenon in contrast to this view. Their conclusion was that there is no single, dominant crime organization and that organized crime is composed of various ethnic and transnational groups functioning together or apart and in unification with genuine businesses and political entities (Lyman & Potter, 2007).

Organized crime has been redefined due to globalization. In the United Kingdom the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) has the primary responsibility for analyzing intelligence on organized crime (Lyman & Potter, 2007). Organized crime described by UK NCIS as having four salient attributes; A organized crime group contains the minimum of three individuals; The criminal actions that the group participates in is constant and indefinite in time; The group is motivated by a desire for revenue or authority; and the group commits serious criminal offenses. According to U.S. Department of Justice (n.d.), organized crime today includes, but is not limited to, Russian mobsters who fled to the U.S. in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse and groups from African countries that engage in drug trafficking and financial swindles. Most of my perception of organized crime falls into the readings of the textbook, I agree with the American law enforcement agencies and how they perceive organized crime. In contrast, the redefining of organized crime by the United Kingdom NCIS has expanded the American law enforcement agencies meaning. Opinionated characteristics of organized crime

The most common way that individuals get involved in organized crime is when you grow up in poverty and in a neighborhood run by mobs, gangs and/or cliques. Many children that grow up in these areas may have parents around that work all day and night to have the bills paid, but the parents are not around to raise them and be their role model. This is what leads them to finding someone to become their role model and they just happen to find the wrong one (a drug dealer). These children end up finding the drug dealer with a lot of money and materialistic things that they do not have. This is what starts them out on the streak of being in the streets and becoming a criminal—an organized criminal that take part in organized crimes. Conclusion

It’s not just the Mafia anymore. Today, organized crime comes at us from all over the globe. According to “Organized Crime” (2013), it’s a widespread group of professional criminals who depend on illegal actions as a way of life and whose actions are coordinated and controlled through some form of unified association. Organized crime has amplified itself over the years.

Lyman, M. D., & Potter, G. W. (2007). Organized crime (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Organized crime. (2013). Retrieved from U.S. Department of Justice. (n.d.). Organized crime. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov

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