The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Serious and Organised Crime Landscape
Assessing the evolution of serious and organised crime during COVID-19 through the enterprise model
Organised crime not only did not stop during the pandemic: on the contrary, it leveraged the situation prompted by the crisis, including the high demand for certain good, the decreased mobility across and into the EU, as well as the increased social anxiety and reliance on digital solutions during the crisis. Criminals have quickly capitalised on these changes by shifting their market focus and adapting their illicit activities to the crisis context. The supply of counterfeit goods and the threat posed by different fraud schemes, financial and cybercrime activities have remained significant throughout the crisis. The prolonged COVID-19 situation and related lockdown measures have exposed victims of crimes revolving around persons as a commodity to an even more vulnerable position.
Recently, newly emerging criminal trends and modi operandi have emerged that are specific to the current phase of the pandemic that revolves around the vaccination roll-out and the wider financial developments of the crisis. In parallel, already known pandemic-themed criminal activities continued or criminal narratives further adapted to the recent developments in the pandemic and the fight against it.
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