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Security - Crime - Drugs
Security - Crime - Drugs - Combating crime through science
“To provide EU Member States and EU institutions with a framework for a standardised collection and use of data on organised crime.”

The problem

The fight against organised crime in Europe is hampered by the lack of common terms and standards and a comprehensive framework in which to identify, collect and analyse crime data. These are essential to the development of rational policy, plans and measures of success in the fight against traffickers in humans, drugs and cigarettes, as well as other commodities.

Assessing OC  Towards a better understanding of organised crime in Europe


Assessing OC will develop and test a “conceptual toolkit” consisting of a clearly defined terminology or “common language”. This will help national, international and supranational crime fighters to develop a theoretical framework and a methodology for the collection of valid and reliable data on organized crime.

The project will review or critique a number of partially overlapping areas:

  • existing definitions and assessments of organised crime, data sources, and the contributions of private security services
  • existing material on various forms of trafficking and smuggling, including humans and untaxed cigarettes
  • the formulation of a new, common European approach to assessing organised crime
  • the cigarette black market

Contribution to policy development:

  • Improves the way organised crime data used by policy-makers is collected and analysed
  • Leads to more precise assessments and more fact-based decisions in law enforcement and the formation of criminal policy

Project deliverables

  • On-going information exchange with law enforcement officials – Starting September 2004
  • Analysis of approaches, data sources, and open source data on drug trafficking, illegal immigration and human trafficking, and contraband cigarette trafficking – Intermediate report – September 2005
  • Survey of eastern European transit and source countries, data analysis of pilot study on cigarette black market and recommendations for a common approach to organised crime – Final report – September 2006


  • Team meetings — October 2004, July 2005, December 2005, June 2006
  • Interim report – September 2005
  • Final report – September 2006

Technical information

Project acronym: Assessing OC
Project’s official full title: Assessing Organised Crime: Testing the Feasibility of a Common European Approach in a Case Study of the Cigarette Black Market in the EU
Research priority: 2.6. Improved means to anticipate crime trends and causes, and to assess the effectiveness of crime prevention policies; assessment of new challenges related to illicit drug use
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 501767
Start date: 01/09/2004
Completion date: 31/08/2006
European Commission scientific officer: Ian Perry (

Name: Petrus van Duyne
Abbreviated name: van Duyne
Address: Kamer Y 219, Postbus 90153, 5000 LE, Tilburg
Country: The Netherlands
Tel: +31 13 466 2404
Fax: +31 13 466 8102


Name: Tom Vander Beken
Abbreviated name: Vander Beken
Country: Belgium

Name: Ulrich Eisenberg
Abbreviated name: Eisenberg
Country: Germany

Name: Dick Hobbs
Abbreviated name: Hobbs
Country: Great Britain

Name: Anna Markina
Abbreviated name: Markina
Country: Estonia