Criminal network vulnerabilities and adaptations

David Bright, Catherine Greenhill, Thomas Britz, Alison Ritter, Carlo Morselli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    The current paper aimed to investigate the effectiveness of five law enforcement interventions in disrupting and dismantling criminal networks. We tested three law enforcement interventions that targeted social capital in criminal networks (betweenness, degree and cut-set) and two interventions that targeted human capital (actors who possess money and those who possess precursor chemicals). These five interventions are compared with each other and with random (opportunistic) removal of actors in two settings: (i) with network adaptation incorporated into the simulations and (ii) without network adaptation. Results illustrate that the removal of actors based on betweenness centrality was the most efficient strategy, leading to network disruption in the least number of steps and was relatively consistent across replications. Targeting actors who possessed money was the second most effective overall and was also relatively consistent in its disruptive effect.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)424-441
    Number of pages18
    JournalGlobal Crime
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017


    • computer simulation
    • Criminal networks
    • law enforcement
    • social network analysis


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