Bulletin Reports

Mobility of Criminal Groups

In this study, the main objective is to identify push and pull factors to help explain how and why criminal groups, organizations, and general organized crime patterns are present across a variety of settings (e.g., geographical locations, criminal markets, and legitimate industries). Push factors refer to forces that drive criminal groups from a setting. Pull factors refer to forces that draw criminal groups to a setting. There is a distinction between contexts where offenders organize around available opportunities (the strategic context) and circumstances where opportunities induce greater organizational levels among offenders (the emergent context). The present exercise indicates that opportunities matter more than the group itself. What the authors demonstrate is that the problems concerning geographical locations, criminal markets, and legitimate industries that are vulnerable to organized crime are persistent and stable over time. On the other hand, groups that seize such opportunities are transient and often short-lived. Aside from reviewing past research of such factors, the authors also apply the general understanding that emerges from analysis to critically assess case studies that reflect popular images of organized crime threats. The concluding section identifies the key issues to address within this area.

For more information on this report (NCJ 236707), access the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s website, http://www.ncjrs.gov.