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British firms (organised crime)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

British firms are organised crime groups originating in the United Kingdom.[1]

Organised crime in the United Kingdom

In analogy with the Penose in the Netherlands and the Milieu in France, organised crime in the United Kingdom has traditionally been governed by homegrown organised criminal groups involved in a multitude of illegitimate businesses.[1] The UK being a multi-ethnic society, criminal enterprises come from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds finding their origin in the UK, the most dominant of them still being the White British groups.[2]

The whole of the UK is said to host some 7,500 different organised criminal groups that cost the country £100 million a day in crime and lost revenues.[3]

British organised crime in other countries

In 1978, a century-old extradition treaty between the United Kingdom and Spain expired.[4] By the time the treaty was replaced in 1985, the Costa del Sol on Spain's southern coast had become home to British expatriate criminals and fugitives, giving rise to the term "Costa del Crime".[5] In 2006, Operation Captura, a multi-agency operation to detain criminals wanted by UK law enforcement on the run in Spain was launched.[6] By June 2019, 96 fugitives had been listed. All but ten had been captured by February 2020.[7]

British, and especially Liverpudlian, drug traffickers have been operating in the Netherlands since as early as the 1980s. Following three murders in English-speaking drug circles in Amsterdam, police set up a team to investigate the scene in July 1992. The investigation revealed a network of approximately 150 predominantly English drug dealers operating in the city, trafficking cocaine, hashish and synthetic drugs sourced from Colombian and Dutch wholesalers to the UK, as well as Scandinavia, Australia and the US.[8] In addition to the Netherlands' position as a logistical hub for drug trafficking, the country has also provided refuge for British fugitives.[9] Reasons for this include established criminal networks, lack of language barrier and cultural similarities with the UK.[10]

In the 1990s, British criminals and fugitives began operating in Thailand. An inexpensive country where fraudulent visas and travel documents are easily available, and police corruption is rife, Thailand provides British expatriates involved in the counterfeit goods trade a criminal endeavor relatively free from risk.[11] British nationals have also been involved in the drug trade and money laundering in the country.[12]

British crime firms

English and Scottish crime groups, as well as Irish gangs (like the Clerkenwell crime syndicate) and Turkish Cypriot descent (such as the Arif family) find their origin in tough, impoverished white working class neighbourhoods. They are largely family-run organised criminal gangs involved in many illegal activities in their respective areas. Even with the influx of foreign gangsters as well as with the rise of homegrown gangs consisting of minorities, white British groups are still the major concern for law enforcement and are active in the major British urban centres.[13] Indigenous criminal organisations are mostly centred around local extended criminal families.

London crime families

London's crime families were traditionally centred in the East End of London (the infamous Kray twins being the most notable).[14] Due to the restructuring of the East End, and the influx of migrants to the area, traditional Cockney families have moved to South London, parts of North London (mainly Islington), and the counties surrounding London (such as Essex and Kent). Working-class neighbourhoods are often still home to family-based crime groups involved in drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution, armed robbery, contract killing, money laundering, counterfeiting and kidnapping.[15] Some of the more notorious South London crime families include the 'Brindles' and the 'Walkers',[16] while the Arifs are the most notorious crime family from London's south-eastern neighbourhoods. Another well-known London crime family is the Clerkenwell crime syndicate in Islington, also known as the 'Adams family'.

London's crime families are more territorial, but can be internationally active in money laundering as well as drug trafficking, cocaine and ecstasy in particular.

Liverpudlian mafia

The Liverpudlian mafia is an informal category of drug trafficking cartels based in the city of Liverpool. In contrast to London's crime families, they are less territorial and more internationally active. The trafficking of cocaine and heroin to the British mainland as well as to countries like Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands is the main source of income for Scouse crime groups. Weapon trafficking and contract killing are activities of choice as well. Liverpudlian crime groups have forged close links with Irish criminal syndicates, as well as the Real IRA.[17]

The Liverpool gangs tend to be more entrepreneurial instead of territorial, where different factions will often choose to work together in several criminal activities, but will also come into conflict with each other when it comes to more localised control over organised crime.[18] While the Liverpool mafia used to refer to the White British crime families active in the city, it has grown to include the several powerful gangs active in the Liverpudlian Black community of Toxteth. When a strategic alliance was made between several white crime families and a number of Toxteth-based gangs dubbed the Black Caucus, a number of black gangs, including one headed by Curtis Warren, grew into power and moved up from street-level crime towards the organised criminal activities the white gangs were active in.[19]

Glasgow crime families

In analogy with London the city of Glasgow has been home to Scottish crime families involved in drug trafficking, weapon trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, scrap dealing and murder. The syndicates of Arthur Thompson or Thomas McGraw are prime examples of Glasgow crime clans. The nature of gangs in Glasgow also has a sectarian influence imported from Ireland. Glasgow's crime families are often involved in violent feuds, as with the vendetta between the Daniel clan and the Lyons clan.[20]

Other examples

White British crime families operate in many other cities in the United Kingdom as well, other known centres being Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham and Manchester. Firms outside of the more well-known London, Liverpool and Glasgow areas include the Noonans of Manchester or the Sayers in Newcastle.[21]

Black British street gangs, such as the Tottenham Mandem and the Cheetham Hillbillies are generally not described as being part of the traditional British crime firms, which is more associated with the White British crime families from the working class districts. Black British street gangs are nevertheless an active part of the British underworld and may have connections to the White firms, the Adams crime family as an example.[22]

Organised crime groups based in the United Kingdom

See also


  1. ^ a b John Lea. "traditional organized crime in Britain". Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Organised crime: Farewell to the heist - The Economist". The Economist. 2013-08-10. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  3. ^ Whitehead, Tom (2013-01-25). "Police battling 7,500 crime gangs that cost the country £100 million a day". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  4. ^ Adios to the Costa del Crime? Derek Brown, The Guardian (23 February 2001)
  5. ^ Special report: After coining the phrase 'Costa del Crime' in the 80s, it's not surprising we're still living in a gangster's paradise David Baird, The Olive Press (21 December 2019)
  6. ^ "Operation Captura: The hunt is on for Most Wanted fugitives on-the-run in Spain". UK National Archives (from National Crime Agency video archive). 17 March 2015.
  7. ^ Mike Dawber (11 March 2020). "Cocaine smuggling gang 'ringleader' held in Spain after six years on run". Champion News.
  8. ^ Usual and Unusual Organising Criminals in Europe and Beyond: Profitable Crimes, from Underworld to Upper World Petrus van Duyne (2011)
  9. ^ Rogue's gallery of 'most wanted' British criminals hiding in Holland Jane Mathews, Daily Express (13 February 2014)
  10. ^ Why do Liverpool's most wanted flee to the Netherlands? Joe Thomas, Liverpool Echo (14 March 2016)
  11. ^ Great escape Duncan Campbell, The Guardian (11 April 2005)
  12. ^ UK drug dealers living it up in Thailand to be deported back to the UK after arrests in Pattaya James Morris and Son Nguyen, Thai Examiner (21 August 2019)
  13. ^ "traditional organized crime in Britain". 2003-09-18. Archived from the original on 2015-01-07. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  14. ^ "Kray Brothers". 1966-12-23. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  15. ^ Tony Thompson (1999-11-28). "London's new Krays take Soho | UK news | The Observer". Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  16. ^ "Bernard O'Mahoney — Essexboys - The Triple Rettendon Murders - Articles - ??/03/96 - MURDER INC". Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  17. ^ Mark Townsend (2008-05-18). "Colombian 'hit' that set off a UK cocaine war | World news | The Observer". Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  18. ^ Tony Bell (1995-05-16). "So, who does run Toxteth? | World news | The Independent". London: Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  19. ^ Lees, Andrew (September 2011). The Hurricane Port: A Social History of Liverpool. ISBN 9781780571560. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  20. ^ "Lyons and Daniels embroiled in gangland feud | Scotland | News | STV". News. 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  21. ^ Dan Warburton (2010-12-28). "Paddy Conroy on his feud with Sayers family". Chronicle Live. Archived from the original on 2014-12-25. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
This page was last edited on 15 October 2020, at 00:33
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