As Strategic Professor in Criminal Justice and Director of the Centre for Crime Policy and Research at Flinders University, he is also co-editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, and has authored numerous journal articles, reports, chapters and books on the subject.
While transnational crime is keeping Professor Goldsmith busy today, the concept is a relatively new one in terms of how governments around the world are dealing with it.
The United States first recognised transnational crime in the mid-1970s, but it wasn’t until 1995 – around the time that Professor Goldsmith was in Colombia – that the UN issued its official definition as “offences whose inception, prevention, and/or direct or indirect effects involved more than one country”. It identified 18 categories of transnational crime, including human, drug and arms trafficking.
Since 1995, transnational crime has grown exponentially, spurred on by globalisation, communication and mass migration. The cost of transnational organised crime is estimated to be about 3.6% of the global economy, with about 20% of that coming from the illicit drug trade.
“The global demand for recreational drugs has had an extraordinary impact on criminality and law enforcement, and the scale of criminality in countries across the globe,” says Professor Goldsmith.
There are two major challenges in tackling transnational crime: bureaucratic issues, such as the division of responsibility between agencies in different jurisdictions and even within the same jurisdiction; and the effects of cyberspace, which make tackling transnational crime particularly difficult.
“The evolution of the internet – social media technologies, encryption technologies, digital banking technologies – have all created new pathways, new skill sets, new opportunities,” says Professor Goldsmith.