Third Discussion Document 'Organised and White Collar Crime'
The discussion document 'Organised and White Collar Crime' is the third in a series of discussion documents to be published as part of the White Paper on Crime process.
The purpose of this discussion document
The purpose of this discussion document is to examine a range of criminal activity not covered in detail by the White Paper on Crime documents produced to date. The emphasis in the earlier documents, and in the first in particular, was largely on volume or 'street crimes' such as assault, theft and public order offences.
While these impact greatly on individuals and communities in an immediate and obvious way, other types of criminal activity may appear to be less frequent but nonetheless cause serious harm to individuals and society as a whole.
This discussion document examines a range of complex types of criminal activity under the broad headings of organised and white-collar crime.
The specific areas covered in detail are:
- drug trafficking
- fraud (including fiscal fraud)
- human smuggling and trafficking
- money laundering counterfeiting and piracy
- tackling white collar crime
- bribery and corruption
- regulatory crime
These types of crime can often attract organised criminals, but can also involve individuals, companies or very ad hoc groups. While there are interconnections between several of these fields, each gives rise to its own discrete issues and law enforcement responses.
The various activities examined are diverse but have the common characteristic of being complex or requiring a high degree of organisation, in contrast to a great deal of volume crime. Due to their complexity, the crime control response to these offences typically involves additional strategies over and above those used in traditional law enforcement.
A further feature of these crimes is that they are rapidly evolving and increasingly enabled by new technologies. Accordingly, an important objective of this discussion document is to seek to identify emerging trends with a view to ensuring that the White Paper on Crime anticipates future challenges as far as possible.
Questions raised in the document include:
- Are there legislative or structural approaches being applied in other jurisdictions which would have value here in combating organised and armed gang crime?
- What impact can community development programmes have on the viability of organised crime?
- What specific criminal justice strategies might respond effectively and successfully to white collar crime? How can challenges in terms of investigation, prosecution and sentencing be overcome?
- Are there legislative, procedural or other approaches in relation to white collar crime being applied in other jurisdictions which would have value in Ireland?
- Is there sufficient awareness of the nature and costs of the crimes described in this document? If not, how might that awareness be increased?
- Are there evolving aspects of organised and white collar crime which need to be anticipated and for which existing responses might not be adequate?
- In the context of regulatory crime, how can an effective and robust regulatory system be best enforced?
- Many of the crimes considered in this document depend on demand for illicit goods and services by ordinary citizens. What can be done to reduce such demand?
Third Discussion Document - 'Organised and White Collar Crime' - Summary of Consultation Outcomes
In April 2011, the Department of Justice and Equality published two documents summarising the feedback received on the White Paper on Crime Discussion Document, 'Organised and White Collar Crime' (October 2010).
The first of these documents outlines the written submissions received by the Department in response to public advertisements for submissions.
The second, prepared by the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) records the views expressed at a consultation seminar on white collar crime which was held in November 2010, and facilitated by Dr. Barry Vaughan, NESC.
Issues raised during the consultation include:
- an apparent lack of parity of treatment by the criminal justice system between white collar criminals and other criminals
- equipping the various regulatory and enforcement agencies with a range of effective investigative and prosecutorial powers to deal with white collar crime
- comprehensive protections for whistleblowers
- the impact of current legislation on organised crime
- the funding of crime prevention measures in communities so as to combat organised crime
- legislative responses to drug crimes and their impact
- combating the trafficking of human beings
- preventing and tackling intellectual property crime
- the development of a national structural response to cybercrime
- the need for improved research and statistics on organised and white collar crime in Ireland