Outlaw motorcycle gangs and their members' crime: Examining the social organization of crime and its relationship to formal club hierarchy

Sjoukje van Deuren*, Edward R. Kleemans, A.A.J. Blokland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

In recent years, many European countries have taken far-reaching measures to combat the criminal activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs). Meanwhile, empirical research into the ways OMCGs are involved in and influence the crimes of their members is largely lacking. This study presents the main findings of research based on police files of cases that were filed against members of Dutch OMCGs. We apply a criminological scenario approach to analyse to what extent and in which ways OMCGs are involved in the crimes of their members. The results show that OMCG membership particularly plays an indirect role in the criminal behaviour of OMCG members. Board members, for example, give permission for criminal acts, regulate mutual relationships between members, non-members and rival OMCGs during conflict situations, and forbid (criminal) behaviour of members that is harmful to the OMCG. OMCGs function as a pool of co-offenders and as a market for criminal enterprises. Members also use the violent reputation of OMCGs in specific criminal activities. OMCGs are less frequently directly involved in crimes. Direct involvement of OMCGs is most apparent in organized inter-gang violence and violence against their own membe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2020

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