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May 16, 2018 / C H Thompson

Globalisation and crime – with evaluative points

Features of globalised crime:

  • globalisation has created new more diverse opportunities for criminal activity, particularly through the anonymity of the internet
  • for example, it’s hard to police internet based crimes because they cross so many international borders, for example email phishing 
  • because it crosses so many borders it becomes difficult identify which country’s police force is responsible
  • another difficulty is global criminal organisations have thousands of members located in different countries
  • the global criminal economy is worth hundreds of billions of pounds a year
  • Held, 1999, argued the features of globalistion have allowed transnational organised crimes to flourish

These features are evident in Hobbs and Dunningham (1998) concept of ‘glocal’ crime. The term glocal describes transnational organised crime.

Glocal crimes describe the way global criminal networks operate with local networks in countries thousands of miles away.

  • These has meant the old fashioned criminal gang top-down hierarchy has been replaced by global networks of criminal gangs – glocal criminal gangs
  • The term glocal describes the interconnectivity between the local and global networks
  • local criminal networks with links to criminal gangs in other countries
  • For example international drugs trade requires the harvesting of opium from local farmers such as those in Afghanistan, by local criminal gangs to supply the orders placed by Columbian drugs barons – those orders can be placed using global telecommunication systems – interconnectivity a key feature of globalisationglobalisation


  • the complexity and secrecy of global crimes makes it difficult for sociologists to research and test the validity of research findings in this area
  • the role of globalisation could be an exaggeration of other causes for global or international crimes for example citizens of developing countries could be taking advantage of their new found wealth
  • globalisation’s interconnectedness has seen the emergence of more global law enforcement agencies sharing information about, for example, terrorism



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