Transnational crimes and policing - Crime Essay Example


In today’s fast moving and globalising world, the countries and nations are moving towards attaining success in various developmental areas like economical, political and social - Transnational crimes and policing introduction. Therefore it has become increasingly important that, creation of common and new opportunities be availed. However as these new markets and products are created the dark side of it is also created too. This dark side is the crimes facilitated by the processes of globalization. Thus this research papers shall look an examine the TCs (Transnational crimes) in the globe today by looking at its challenges to the police forces, police unit detection and response strategies through drawing part of the knowledge from literature of East Asia, Australia, Canada and US.


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Today in the 21st century our global world is faced with series of security based challenges.  Some of these security challenges are beyond the normal traditional dimensions of security operations in combating the crime.  Since in the 21st centaury the scope and crime organization is more advanced and uses high technology than before. Therefore posing greater ever changing challenges to the current police force and their methods of fighting crime (Christopher 2002).

In this perspective, the speeding pace of globalization enhances interaction of various business persons, investors, professionals and criminals in the world.  Therefore this interaction and harmonized modes of operation in different countries in the world facilitates people to learn the systems of a given nation, hence criminals are able to organize their operation on the basis of the loop holes within the system.  In this perspective of globalization as liberalization process is key source of emergence of new and dynamic scenes of crime.

Owing to the fact that globalization has lead to the emergency of these major crimes between the national boarders therefore referred to as Transnational crimes.  In this regard, Transnational crimes are in various forms (Marie 2004) that are recognised by international bodies as a daunting challenge to our globe today.  The major illegal undertakings that threaten the world security are human trafficking, terrorism and drug trafficking. The Transnational crime in relation to security issues not only creates inter-state conflicts and geo-political concerns, but is also relevant to human security. Therefore this leads to states instability and the insecurity of other actors in international relations. Within this line of thought, this research paper shall explore the challenges that these organized criminal activities impact on the society and our global police forces toady.


Transnational crimes

Results of globalization have significantly not only lead to increased trade, financial flows and international economic liberalization, but also have magnified illicit cross-border flows of narcotics, smuggled migrants and even infectious diseases to various countries. In relation to insecurity issues that are surrounding the world today at cross national borders which are a major threat to human security, globalization has a hand in their rapid occurrence (McDonald 2003).  This is because globalization has significantly amplified their spread and impact. Furthermore, criminal organizations abuse the processes of globalization to operate at a truly Transnational crimes level.  Thus, it points out that globalization has security dimension. The security dimension comes from the angle of facilitating and enhancing ideologies that leads to Transnational crimes.

In this respect, globalization is referred to as the processes of rapid scientific developments in communication, transport and information, economic liberalization and transformation and the emergence of a global civil society.  Therefore through creating the global society, it implies that this complex process is driven by economic and political influences  (John 2001) which changes everyday life of individuals especially in developed nations that leads to creating new Transnational crimes systems and forces. It is within these Transnational crimes systems and forces that Transnational crimes emanates from, in other words it points out that Transnational crimes are the dark side of globalization (McDonald 2003).

Globalization has not solely created these insecurity threats, but rather has accelerated their impact and significance. For instance rapid increase in cross-border movements and significant progress in information technology implies that criminal organizations can enhance their acts and operationalizations at Transnational crimes carder.  This is evident as many of criminal groups that operate their illegal activities across the national borders go on successful and evades the law enforcement agencies and the stipulated government control (Allan 2007). Hence this depicts that organized crimes are Transnational crimes in the sense that the main syndicates are structured and operates internationally. This is evident, since the criminal groups are Transnational, entrepreneurial and network-orientated in their mode of operation.

This paper defines Transnational crimes as offences whose inception, prevention and direct or indirect effects involves more than one country which is according to the UN definitions that the paper has adopted. There is a distinction line between the Transnational crimes and international crimes. This distinction is drawn by the fact that international crimes are recognized and can be prosecuted under domestic law of the nation of jurisdiction or international law  (Johnson 2007).

While Transnational crimes involves crossing of borders or jurisdictions. The world today has more severe Transnational crimes such as  Transnational crimes prostitution, arms smuggling, drug trafficking, money laundering, sea piracy and human smuggling and trafficking. In this perspective the small gangs comes up which networks and flourishes to set up Transnational crimes criminal activities that becomes a global threat. For instance the most dangerous Transnational crimes gangs are the Italian mafia, Alqueda, Chinese triads and Japanese yakuza these are some of the major gangs examples. The following section shall discuss the Transnational crimes challenges and their impacts.

Drug Trafficking

Amongst the Transnational crimes, Drug trafficking is highest rated international crime problem in the world. The worldwide trade of illicit drugs is worth US$ 400 billion a year, with UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) report giving an estimate of 200 million people consumes illegal drugs worldwide (Allan 2007). Drug trafficking trade occurs globally today when narcotics are transported from producing country, then are moved to transit states and finally reach the destinations or the market. This is done by the well organized drug barons who own drug cartels that operate across the national boundaries. The cross national boundary activities involve production, processing, transport and distribution.

In drug trafficking trade as a Transnational crime poses challenges to law enforcement agencies since it is based on the complex Transnational crimes structure. This structure encompasses key producers which are the farmers who grows opium poppies, coca, and cannabis, heroin; the producers of cocaine, ATS (amphetamine-type stimulants) manufacturers  (Johnson 2007). This ones plays a primacy role in the establishment of the crime. But however the crime can not materialize without smugglers, officials who are corrupt and collide with the smugglers, distributors of the drugs such as wholesalers and small local traders embedded in our cities worldwide. While the facilitation of the transactional currency in this dealings are entirely enhanced by the accountants, banking institution and lawyers who puts a cover on the traffickers.

To point out how serious drug trafficking is to the police force organization in the world, drug trafficking is closely connected to the other Transnational crimes like arms smuggling, illegal migration, terrorism, Corruption and money laundering. Additionally, the drug traffickers involve in the human smuggling and sex trafficking.

In this regard the paper infers that these extra criminal dealings that accompanies the drug trafficking is the source of additional financial resources. Whereby these funds are used to settle and facilitate the drug cartels activities. Some of these activities involves purchasing of the modern military equipment and settle their collaborating partners in the business who are corrupt police authorities, politicians and persons in the judiciary like lawyers and judges. Despite these challenges to the police unit, there are also social challenges posed to the society. These are; HIV/AIDS pandemic (John 2001) spread through intravenous drug use, high levels of violent crime, health effects to the consumers, human potential are wasted and drug consumption and addiction. In addition to that, there are economic and political effects (Christopher 2002).

Some of the economic effects are distortion of financial institutions, undermining the national economies and creation of shadow economies that evade taxation authorities. While the political based effects are violation of the national borders, compromising the political administrative systems and results to the erosion of the rule of law. Furthermore, drug trafficking leads to manipulation of the state authorities by corrupting judges, police and politicians. The most affected continent today when it comes to the drug trafficking is the Eastern Asia.

Human Smuggling and Trafficking

According to the UN, it defines human smuggling as procurement which is aimed obtaining a directly or indirectly financial or material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a State Party of which the person is not a national or permanent resident. While human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, receipt of individuals by means of forms of coercion, (Christopher 2002). of the abuse, of benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. The other distinction between the two related terms is the fact that human smuggling is a Transnational crimes activity, while human trafficking occurs as a Transnational crimes activity and as well within states.

The issue of human trafficking and smuggling results to further complications in relation to the criminal issues and scope of the cross border immigration policing.  The issue is caused by various factors and accelerated by speeding up of globalization. These factors are in terms of socio-cultural, geographical, economic, historical and political. Amongst the mentioned factors, the major determinant is the economic factor. This is especially poverty disparities which are brought a bout by economic gap amongst the countries in our globe today (Marie 2004).

In 21st century, illegal immigration has been an alarming issue that raises concern in the developed countries. However the fascinating fact is that these illegal immigrations are linked to the well structured and organized criminal groups which controls and plans for smuggling and trafficking of persons across national borders.

Despite today world being a globalizing world, the immigrants still faces a lot of immigration policies restrictions that gives an option of reliance on illegal methods. Thus, these criminal groups capitalize and utilize the stipulated restrictions as a basis for them to facilitate their illegal emigrational transactions.  Therefore is appoint of worthy to mention that, as long as the nation’s continue to maintain their policies of restrictive immigration; human smuggling and trafficking is expected to raise from the figures which the US government gives of around 0.8 million to  0.9 million persons who are trafficked across international borders annually (Alan 2006, Dimitri 2008).

This is a new security threat that is replacing drug trafficking and is rated second largest in the world today. However the human smugglers make high profits with a relatively low risk of being detected, arrested and tried. Even if they are imprisoned they only encounter short prison sentences as compared to drug traffickers or terrorists.

The human smuggling and trafficking further complicates the issues in criminal arena. Since these illegal immigrants once have arrived in the destination country they provided with fake passport documents, transported and accommodated in hideous areas and is ferried to various places illegally. Furthermore, due to illegal status of the immigrants; they can not search for jobs  (Johnson 2007). Therefore they are involved in the low skilled jobs, exploitation by their masters, crime activities and sex industry in an effort to settle down their debts of being assisted top move.

In this regard to the police force unit gets challenges when the illegal immigrants are in the country of destination, they engage in criminal activities sent by their masters, women and young girls being involved in prostitution through force, immigrants are often exploited and their human rights violated. This all is done to these poor men and they can not access the police authority due to their illegal status  (Allan 2007).


Terrorism and terror is one of the major Transnational crimes that have emerged to be of greatest threat to the global security. Terrorist groups are quite well organized from their training, group functioning and the execution of their mission target. However one of the complex issues about terrorism is the way they calculate their moves that raises concerns to global security stakeholders (Simon 2001). This is immediately after the US bombing on September 11th; the war on terror has taken drastically different shape and approach. However within security parameters there is no an accepted clear definition of terrorism.

In this respect, there exist various terror definitions which give a broad scope of its threat to the security situation in the world. The closely and most appropriate definition is the one that is given by the FBI. Which states that terrorism and acts of terror is unlawful use of force against persons or a nation that is aimed to intimidate the civilian population in order to political or social objectives. While US security department defines terrorism as the premeditated politically motivated violence perpetrated against non combatant targets by sub national groups aimed at influencing the audience (Kamala 2003, Philip 2000).

These definitions have a common meeting point which is the force aspect and the end target which is attainment of the social or political objective. The challenges that terror and terrorism poses on the security agencies is the way of coordination of their activities such as identification, money processing and transferring and planning and their execution of the terror activities across the borders of the nations.  The latest development in the security scenario; there is an issue of terrorist racketeering and collaboration with insurgents. Whereby terror groups targets the weaker states where governments are unable to focus firmly and resolutely on Transnational crimes. These gangs use corruption as the main tool for collaborating with the political and governmental machinery (John 2001). This in turn directs support and collaboration with insurgents.

Detection and Response to Transnational crimes by policing agents

The 21st century has seen drastic changes within the nature and scope of the crimes committed. These Transnational crimes are a daunting challenge to the global security agencies, but by the fact that the government has to protect the interest of their citizens; there is urgent need for intelligence in order to combat Transnational crimes actors and cartels (Beck 2006). However these challenges posed by the kind and level of crime committed can be taken as opportunities for the police unit to improve their detection and responsiveness towards them. For instance the crimes related to terrorism the policing unit has adopted new tools of design to combat the criminals who perpetrate terror activities. In this regard the police force within the border has tightened the border security with identity protocols, information sharing and racial profiling use in combating the terror suspects and gangs.

Secondly, the policing unit has developed a network of control measures that has significantly improved law. This is because global planned crimes require global collaboration with the security agencies globally to combat these Transnational crimes (Simon 2001). Therefore the nature of policing in the era of challenging international crimes is characterised by collaboration and sharing of intelligence related information amongst police forces of cross borders. In effort to assist the police to combat these crimes the legal perspective has been a necessarily fundamental. Whereby law is developed that facilitates exchange of intelligence, simplify extradition arrangements between states, investigations into and recovery of the proceeds of crime and application of mutual assistance arrangements.

The policing activities and planning has incorporated multilateral cooperation in enhancing supporting and information flow between law enforcement agencies. Examples of these agencies are INTERPOL, EUROPOL and ASEANAPOL (Beck 2006).  Furthermore there is organization of multilateral police training programs and technical exchange on the Transnational crimes to enhance the skill of the police officers in tracking technological methods of coordination like mailing, employing compatible computer databases, internet fund transfers and payments. Lastly the policing have developed highly criminal intelligence and analytical capabilities, close cooperation with professions like bankers and an updated, dynamic and modern criminal justice system.




The paper has explored the Transnational crimes. It defines Transnational crime as offences whose inception, prevention and direct or indirect effects involves more than one country. In this regard Transnational crimes which are organised internationally, requires international response. Therefore to combat the Transnational crimes and their challenges there has been increasing need to reform the policing. This reforms are increased trainings, multinational collaboration and intelligence information sharing in Transnational crimes matters.

However despite these developments that encompasses international efforts, inter-governmental cooperation remains limited. This owes to the fact that Transnational crimes cooperation involves sensitive areas of governance such as extradition laws, national sovereignty and jurisdiction and information sharing. Therefore more has to be done than desired to achieve success of policing goals against TCs.














Simon Sheldon, 2001, Many Faces of Asian Security, Lanham, Rownan & Littlefield Publishers.

Christopher Coker, 2002, Globalisation and Insecurity in the Twenty-first Century, Adelphi, London

Dimitri Williams,2008, Combating Transnational Crime, Cambridge, Polity Press.

Alan Davidson, 2006, Transnational Challenges to Security, Cambridge,  Cambridge.

John McFarlane, 2001, Transnational Crime; The New Security Paradigm, Canberra, Australian National University press.

Allan Castle, 2007, Transnational Organized Crime and International Security, Vancouver, University of British Columbia.

McDonald William, 2003, The Globalization of Criminology, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

Marie Andrea, 2004, “Sexual Trafficking in Women”, Sex. Gender Issues, vol. 18, pp. 12

Johnson Michael, 2007, Emerging Trends of Transnational Organized Crime, London, Little Brown Ltd.

Philip Williams, 2000, Trafficking in Women and Children,  London: Frank Cass Publishers.

Kamala Kennedy, 2003, Global Sex Workers; Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition, New York: Routledge.

Beck Ulrich, 2006, “The Silence of Words; On Terror and War”, Security Dialogue, vol. 34, no. pp. 250


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