Thirty years of expert surveys into the development of organized crime in Czechia – the possibilities and limits of our knowledge

Criminological research on organised crime uses expert surveys in order to supplement the lacking data. In Czechia, the Institute of Criminology and Social Prevention has been executing these surveys since 1993, focusing mainly on the special task forces enlisted to combat organised crime. This article aims to present this research and to critically reflect on its informative value. The results show that the organisational level of criminal groups active in Czechia has steadily been growing, which is also true for the proportion of Czech groups in the country. The proportion of foreigners has been changing, though four nationalities in particular appear dominant at the moment: Ukrainians, Russians, Vietnamese, and Albanians. In terms of the most widespread illicit activities, the most prevalent seem to be drug production, smuggling, and trafficking. Cybercrime has been on the rise and from a more long-term perspective, organised crime has made a shift towards the economic sphere. Expert surveys on organised crime must be considered with full awareness of their potential and weaknesses – when processing the obtained information, we must bear in mind the limits of this method. Nevertheless, the use of surveys is justified given that other sources are not readily available or do not offer sufficient knowledge.

organized crime, expert surveys, Czechia

Miroslav Scheinost



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