The Use of Violence by Organised Crime Groups

On 28 January 2021, Europol published a spotlight report on the use of violence by organised crime groups. Violence by organised crime groups (OCGs) is of growing concern in the EU with an increasing number of cases submitted to Europol.

OCG-related violence appears to be increasingly affecting a range of social sectors and is now considered a risk to the general public. Serious violence does not exclusively affect criminals but also non-criminals including those engaged in tackling the criminal activities.

Challenges that law enforcement agencies face are detailed in the report and include, for instance, a range of violent techniques, tactics, and procedures that OCGs use to stymie investigations Furthermore, homicides in this context are often perceived as isolated events with the underlying criminal activity often not apparent.

The report recommends embracing a step-by-step comprehensive approach that focuses on detection and deterrence rather than a one-way approach that only focuses on dismantling individual groups and confiscating their assets.

News Guide

EU Europol


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section