An Epidemiological Framework for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorist Networks
Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
In the last two decades, organized crime and terrorism has grown more complex, posing evolving challenges to law enforcement nationally, regionally and globally. Within the US '...there is a transformation in how criminals are using technology to invent new types of crime, and are creating new methods for committing traditional crimes' (Wexler C. Critical issues in policing series new national commitment required: The changing nature of crime and criminal investigations police executive
... forum, Washington, D.C. 20036 retrieved from https:// www.policeforum.org/assets/ChangingNatureofCrime.pdf: 2018). In addition, criminals and terrorists have adopted more agile structural models and internationalized their operations. The UK regards organized crime as a threat to national security which costs the UK at least £32 billion each year, leads to loss of life, and can deprive people of their security and prosperity (https://www.gov.uk/government/ publications/official-development-assistance-oda-fco-programme-spend-objectives-2017-to-2018/combatting-serious-and-organised-crime-objectives-2017to-2018). Given this threat and risk landscape, it has been argued that the '...science of criminal investigations is changing rapidly, and many law enforcement agencies are not prepared for the changes that are taking place' (Wexler C. Critical issues in policing series new national commitment required: The changing nature of crime and criminal investigations police executive research forum, Washington, D.C. 20036 retrieved from https://www.policeforum.org/assets/ChangingNatureofCrime. pdf: 2018). The inherent complexity associated with serious and organized crime and terrorism calls for intervention and investigative strategies and practices rooted in a science-informed, evidence-based approach. Epidemiology, the science of public health, provides a unique approach that can be leveraged and tailored to support policing operations. The systems lens is key to the application of epidemiological models, and hence the Cynefin framework is introduced to help frame the policing problem space in terms of complexity. 20 This paper presents a conceptual model that illustrates and operationalizes epidemiological practices to support policing operations.