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British collaborative support to tackle SOC and criminal activities: A case study of the GAIN Network

Silvestri, C (2023) British collaborative support to tackle SOC and criminal activities: A case study of the GAIN Network. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Based on a case study of the UK’s Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN), the research evaluated the organisational and operational risks and benefits of a novel commitment to intelligence sharing and the impact of the new arrangements on the agencies that make up the Network. It answered the question: In the modern era, the police no longer have monopoly control of crime-fighting; therefore, to what extent does British policing engage with partners to prevent and detect serious organised crime? A case study of the GAIN network
A systematic literature review was undertaken, and a case study approach was employed. The former focused on globalisation and its relationship with transnational organised crime; the social factors that led to the creation of support agencies in response to that phenomenon, and how relationships between actors are influenced during a mutual collaboration. Data was collected via a survey and a series of semi-structured interviews. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data collection strategy employed was modified to mitigate any risk to the health and/or safety of the research participants.
The study found that the police still have almost complete control over crime-fighting policy and practice in the context of serious and organised crime. GAIN has delivered benefits for policing, but its benefits for policing’s partners are rather less obvious. Ostensibly, the multi-agency collaboration promotes intelligence sharing, disruption activity, and networking among police and other partners. There is some evidence of success in that regard, but largely that is confined to the mechanisms for collaboration that GAIN has established. The strong links that have been forged between partners and between individuals employed by those partners undoubtedly have strengthened those relationships and delivered individuals a greater understanding of the challenges that each other faces. That may bring advantages, in terms of increased outputs and greater efficiencies, in the longer run. However, there is little evidence today of the kinds of creativity or innovation that are likely to see the partnership develop in those ways. Essentially, the GAIN experience suggests that the police are doing what they always have done; leading and directing partnerships and limiting partners’ opportunities to influence the direction or gain meaningful control.
Arguably, that means that goals remain too narrowly focused and opportunities to think about policing problems (in this case, serious and organised crime) in new ways are overlooked.
The study has emphasised that the police institution needs to pay constant attention to environmental and social changes as they affect crime and criminal behaviour. Without the knowledge gained through that activity, the police’s ability to adapt their responses to serious and organised crime and/or to better harness the energies and endeavours of partners, is bound to be constrained.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: GAIN Network; Government Agency Intelligence Network; Policing Collaboration; British policing; Policing; Serious and Organised Crime; SOC; multi-agency collaboration; intelligence sharing; disruption activity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
K Law > K Law (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7231 Criminal Justice Administrations > HV7551 Police. Detectives. Constabulary
Divisions: Justice Studies (from Sep 19)
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2023 10:13
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 10:14
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00019887
Supervisors: James, A and Silverstone, D
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19887
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