The meaning of crime
The meaning of crime

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5.2.1 Beyond the UK

We have focused on crime in one society, in one period – the late twentieth-century UK. But crime is also becoming increasingly globalised. This is not simply to say that crime occurs throughout the world, which it certainly does. It is to highlight ways through which crime is becoming organised across borders.

One example would be cross-border criminal gangs. The American-Italian Mafia is now in global competition with Eastern European and Russian Mafias who are in turn up against Chinese triads. Other examples of cross-border crimes include: illegal immigration, the growing sex trade and sex tourism, the international distribution of pornography over the Internet, and, of course, international drug trafficking. These developments seem to pose serious threats to nationally-organised police forces and undermine their capacity to combat crime. They are, in short, another potential source of uncertainty and insecurity.

Do you have more questions? …

We certainly hope so! If you do, then we have achieved one of our key objectives – encouraging you to develop a sceptical, critical and questioning approach to the world, and to the social sciences.

On behalf of all of us, good luck with your studies!

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