2. Typologies and Patterns of Crime

2.6 Organised Crime

Dr. Jon Heidt

The Criminal Code of Canada defines organised crime as a group of three or more people whose purpose is the commission of one or more serious offences that would “likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group” (Canadian Criminal Code, 1985). Organised crime groups may be involved in any number of illegal activities, but they are most commonly involved in drug and gun trafficking; however, human trafficking and computer-based crime have become increasingly common amongst these groups in recent years. There are a variety of organised crime groups operating in Canada and the U.S., some of which are based on race or ethnicity; however, there is a new trend towards multi-ethnic or more diverse organised crime groups (Beare, 2018). It is important to keep in mind that organised crime groups exhibit a high level of internal organisation and structure, and they should not be confused with street gangs and “wanna-be” youth gangs that are more loosely structured and focus less on profit-making activities (Gordon, 2000).


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Introduction to Criminology Copyright © 2023 by Dr. Jon Heidt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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