The Use of Actor-Level Attributes and Centrality Measures to Identify Key Actors: A Case Study of an Australian Drug Trafficking Network

David Bright, Catherine Greenhill, Michael Reynolds, Alison Ritter, Carlo Morselli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Social network analysis (SNA) conducted on criminal networks can identify key players and shed light on important patterns of connectivity. This information can be used to develop interventions to dismantle or disrupt criminal networks. Drawing upon the network capital construct, this study demonstrates that integrating centrality measures (such as degree or betweenness centrality) with other individual attributes related to functional roles and access to tangible and intangible resources will enhance efforts to identify critical actors. Using a drug trafficking network that operated in Australia in the 1990s, we identify actors who are key to the network by virtue of their position in the network, their attributes, and combinations of these factors. Implications for law enforcement practice are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)262-278
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
    Volume31
    Issue number3
    Early online date14 Oct 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015

    Keywords

    • centrality of actors
    • drug trafficking
    • network capital
    • roles
    • social network analysis

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