Newsletter

EX-CONGRESSMAN INDICTED IN TERRORISM-FUNDING CASE

This is a fascinating case which will bear close watching. A number of Islamic charities have been designated organisations that finance terrorism. It would be better to read the allegations in the Washington Post article than to repeat them here, because a quick read of the piece suggests some stretching of definitions as has occurred elsewhere in the prosecuton of Islamic charities. There is another case in Texas, at least part of which is being retried at present.The reader should work out the issues for her or himself.

CYBERTERRORIST 007

Interesting piece on the use of the internet to recruit and organise , alleging that individual actions too can be organised via the internet, avoiding face to face encounters. This piece fits in with the general argument that both organised crime and terrorism have moved away from solid hierarchical structures to networks and now to individuals linked only by communication through various internet technologies.
Of course, there are those who long argued that hierarchical structures were mythical and that the President’s Task Force on Organised crime in the late 1960s chose the wrong model. Indeed more recently, Petrus van Duyne and Klaus von Lampe have argued that cross-border smuggling networks are much more informal than both criminologists and investigators believed. This next step presents legal problems, especially in distinguishing innocent activity from criminal activity. For the moment, guilt is assumed and innocence has to be proved.
The piece also illustrates how the concept of “cyberterrorism” continues to develop

FBI WANTS INSTANT ACCESS TO BRITISH IDENTITY DATA

OK, it’s a Guardian article and suffers from all the problems pointed out by Ludo in his comment on the entry on the Prum treaty. The small print shows that this isn’t specific to the UK-US relationship. But it does seem to be another attempt to evade judicial supervision of data exchange by designating “cyberspace” outside a single country’s jurisdiction.
The FBI and other national police agencies have never been great believers in human rights. Nor in the rights of second country nationals, let alone third country ones.

REVIEW OF BOOK ON CAMORRA

Sounds like a difficult read. Review is by the author of a book on the Sicilian Mafia. He does recommend it, but after much critical comment. Perhaps an SGOC reader could provide a review too?

CORRUPTION HELPING NEW FINES WORK

Moscow Times article explaining that the possibility of receiving a bribe makes it more likely that the traffic police will enforce the law. You have to read it for yourself!

NEW AIC PAPER ON LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSES TO TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Fiona David’s new paper in the Australian Institute of Criminology’s Trends and Issues series on “Law enforcement responses to trafficking in persons: challenges and emerging good practice”. Bit of an executive summary, but there’s an agenda for PhD students to think about and a useful bibliography. Well worth a read…It will leave you hungry for more!

FBI CLAIMS VIOLENT CRIME DOWN IN US

Usual lazy piece of journalistic reporting which doesn’t tell readers how data recorded and whether any changes have been made in what is recorded. Nor does the journalist tell us whether there is agreement from victim surveys. At least we are told that no absolute numbers have been given: only percentages. A link to the full report is available at: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/jan08/ucr_statistics010708.html
To give the FBI its due, the press release includes the following disclaimer:
“Because of the complexities involved, the FBI makes no attempt to interpret the data, which we leave to criminologists and sociologists. And, as always, we caution against ranking or comparing crime rates in cities from year to year, which do not account for the many variables that impact the volume and scope of crime in specific locations.”
Now someone somewhere probably discusses this in their blog. It would be great if SGOC members started their own discussion by commenting on the figures in this blog.

FLORENCIA 13 GANG MEMBERS INDICTED IN LOS ANGELES

A very confused article about a Los Angeles gang called Florencia 13 in the Washington Post, the central part of which looks like a prosecutor’s department press release. George Tita,a criminologist, is quoted towards the end of the piece denying the central theme of racially motivated violence between gangs. The case has presumably still to come to court. 102 people charged. Someone will already be writing the book.

CHANGING DUTCH POLICY ON BROTHELS

A Dutch Court upholds Amsterdam City Council’s case that the Yab Yum Club was taken over by Hells Angels and that the Council had the right to close it. This follows a decision in September 2007 to close one third of the “windows” in the red light district http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7005768.stm
Lots of links from the BBC articles, but mostly to newspaper articles.

SWEDISH POLICY AGAINST “CUSTOMERS” OF PROSTITUTES

There will be a great deal of coverage of Swedish policy as the UK considers adopting a similar approach. This Guardian article skates over many of the issues that require research. It will be a bit like Dutch drug policy! Any links to proper evaluation research will be gratefully accepted. Trafficking gets a passing mention.

News Paper | Newsletter