Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) is defined as “Criminality requiring a level of planning, preparation and coordination, the impact of which goes beyond the crime itself, negatively impacting socio-economic, political dynamics and structures.” SOC includes but is not limited to: trafficking and dealing in drugs, people, weapons and counterfeit goods; sophisticated theft and robbery; fraud and other forms of financial crime; cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime and kidnapping and ransom. It also includes modern slavery and child sexual exploitation. SOC costs countries billions of dollars every year and Organised Criminal Groups (OCGs) are expanding their networks across the world. Like other security threats SOC requires a response across the whole of government, and close collaboration with the public, the private sector and with many other countries.
Prevent is the concept of providing meaningful alternative pathways to those most likely to join OCGs to prevent the growth and proliferation of membership leading to a decline in criminal activity. It is critical for the police to involve the community at a very local level and therefore Prevent is part of a community-oriented policing approach. These alternative pathways need to be bespoke according to the local context, crime profile and individuals targeted. Pathways are supported through interventions, which encourage and support the beneficiaries through addressing vulnerabilities and providing new capabilities. Prevent works in support of pursue and should not be seen as a threat to or a replacement for it.
Prevent works with those who are on a pathway to crime but who are not yet fully involved in an OCG. To better understand this audience, we can use the pathway to crime continuum shown in Figure 1. The diagram shows the typical pathway of young people into OCG membership. The red box represents the audience that Prevent interventions intend to target; those involved in antisocial behaviour and low level crime but not yet as a member of an OCG.
OCGs target vulnerable individuals from a young age to present SOC as an exciting, rewarding and inevitable route for their future. Prevent is designed to interdict this grooming process by focusing on individuals within this vulnerable Target Audience. By working within an institutional structure (see figure X) that is both bottom up and top down, Prevent partners will design, deliver and evaluate interventions that will divert members of the Target Audience from becoming engaged in SOC. The Prevent structure is designed to have multi-agency partners working at three levels (full terms of reference for each structure can be found below):
The Serious and Ornaised Crime (SOC) now Brighter Future is implemented in Oredo and Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.