The nature of crime has changed; the criminal is not easily recognisable. The concept of the major criminal wearing a stocking mask and carrying a sawn-off shot gun, about to hold up an armoured car has changed. The criminal also does risk assessment on the type of crime he will participate in.
Armed robbery now carries a high tariff for prison sentencing, so the nature of major crime has changed accordingly. The major criminal is now more than likely in a lot of cases wearing suits just like us, he wants to look like us and talk like us.
Criminal Organisations are structured just like any other business centred around a core linked by things such as family, childhood or a shared history of criminal activity with subordinates and specialists. We will come across the lower ranks and the networks of more dispensable members of these organisations, such as couriers, thieves, dealers.
A simplified view can be as follows;
- 5% of people are good, people who try to do everything right and would never intentionally cause harm to others
- 5% of people are bad, those who have no regard for others and believe that rules and regulations are not boundaries to them, and
- 90% are opportunists, if they think there is a very small chance of getting caught, especially in what they perceive to be a victimless crime e.g. tax evasion or an inflated insurance claim, many take the opportunity.
The criminal is hard to spot. They do however; still want the pensions, the investments, savings and the trappings of wealth. It is more than often the case that is not the ‘look’ of the person that gives them away rather it is actions and circumstance. Very often in the firms we work for, to test for suspicions, we apply the ‘lifestyle v income’ test.
One thing to remember about the criminal is that they generally do not want you as an accomplice, but would rather deceive you, they will use and abuse your firm’s reputation and good name, to get what they want instead.