According to the United Nations, quoted in the National Post, crime generates an estimated US$2.1-trillion in global annual proceeds – or 3.6% of the world’s gross domestic “It makes the criminal business one of the largest economies in the world, one of the top 20 economies,” said Yury Fedotov, head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), describing it as a threat to security and economic development.”
That may seem far away from Ottawa, but if you look back at the CPO study “Life Course of Youth Gang Members in Ottawa” you may recall that, indeed, those young men were making money. A lot of money. In fact, I calculated that based on Prof. Kelly’s research a twenty-something “re-up” man with 8 or 10 runners selling crack is well into the Canadian 1%. In fact, since they are not paying taxes, they are astonishingly rich. In their interviews with Prof. Kelly some gang members indicated that the money was a problem, they were making too much and it was drawing too much attention.
Global criminal markets matter for our safety. Whether it is drugs, illegal weapons, other contraband or human beings. We need to find new and more effective ways of addressing these destructive and dangerous businesses. At a local level we can, and do, try very hard to do our part. But these issues are truly global.