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Beyond the pandemic – How COVID-19 will shape the serious and organised crime landscape in the EU a report published by Europol.
Serious and organised crime is exploiting the changing circumstances during the pandemic. From the onset of this crisis, Europol monitored these developments to help Member States understand and tackle this emerging phenomena. The full impact of the pandemic – not only on crime but also more widely on society and the economy – is not yet apparent. However, law enforcement should be prepared to be able to respond to the warning signals as the world deals with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, international policing needs to work with the increased connectivity both in the physical and virtual worlds. This crisis again proves that exchanging criminal information is essential to fighting crime within the law enforcement community. Europol, as the criminal information hub for all law enforcement organisations, will continue to play its part.
Europol is assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on serious and organised crime and terrorism across three phases (current, mid- and long-term outlook) to anticipate developments across the threat landscape that will have an operational impact on law enforcement authorities across Europe and Europol itself.
Despite lockdowns and restrictions, serious and organised crime and, to a lesser degree, terrorism are still active and developing phenomena seeking to adapt to and exploit the changing circumstances during the pandemic. Europol monitoring has followed these developments and will continue to carry out analysis to understand emerging phenomena. The full impact of the pandemic – not only on crime and terrorism but also more widely on society and the economy – is not yet apparent. However, law enforcement should seek to develop robust indicators for change to be able to respond to early warning signals as the world deals with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency. Our main goal is to achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all the EU citizens. Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, we support the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime. We also work with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. Large-scale criminal and terrorist networks pose a significant threat to the internal security of the EU and to the safety and livelihood of its people. The biggest security threats come from:
2) international drug trafficking and money laundering,
3) organised fraud,
4) the counterfeiting of euros,
5) trafficking in human beings.
The networks behind the crimes in each of these areas are quick to seize new opportunities, and they are resilient in the face of traditional law enforcement measures.
1. Europol, Beyond the pandemic – How COVID-19 will shape the serious and organised crime landscape in the EU (30.04.2020),
2. Europol, About Europol.
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