Linked inTwitter

Halcyon's 52:52:52 campaign on this site and on Twitter will start in late 2020. It will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

A Mundane Comedy is Halcyon's new book. Extracts will appear on this site and on social media during late 2020. Please get in touch with any questions about the book or related Halcyon services.

Halcyon monitors change for more than 150 key elements of life.

What's Changing? - Crime



Please see below selected recent crime-related change.


See also:


In figures:


October 2020

  • Africa loses $89 billion each year due to tax evasion and theft, according to a new report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development. Nearly half of that amount is due to underreported exports of commodities like gold, diamonds, and platinum.
  • There are over 250,000 unsolved murder cases in the United States. Thomas Hargrove, cofounder of Murder Accountability Project, wants that number to be as close to zero as possible and developed an algorithm that, through cluster analysis, is capable of finding connections in murder data that human investigators tend to miss. The technology exists, but a considerable roadblock that the project faces is getting support and cooperation from law enforcement offices, reported Big think.
  • Meanwhile, crowdsleuthing is the practice of internet users banding together, typically unbidden, in an attempt to solve mysteries and crimes (and occasionally to take justice into their own hands). The core concept isn't particularly novel, finding one of its origins in the anonymous tip lines like Crime Stoppers that gained popularity in the '70s, or the Unsolved Mysteries TV series, which premiered in '87. But with the emergence of social networks and digitised media, public involvement has increased exponentially, and has become more complex and consequential.


April 2020

  • Violence is not confined to the battlefield, the UN secretary-general said in response to reports of a surge in domestic violence as COVID-related lockdowns forced women around the world to stay at home with abusive partners or family members. According to reports, instances of domestic violence have risen in countries including France, Australia, Turkey, and Malaysia as a result of quarantine measures. Meanwhile, in South Africa, authorities said there were 90,000 reports of violence against women in the first week of lockdown alone. Warning of a "horrifying global surge" in domestic violence, the UN appealed to governments to step up efforts to protect women. 
  • Organisations lose 5%of their revenue to fraud each year, according to a new report from the Association of Certified  Fraud Examiners. The percentage has remained relatively constant over the years, according to the ACFE’s 2020 Report to the Nations. The biannual report analyses 2,504 cases of real fraud from 125 countries that totalled over $3.6 billion in losses. The typical case of fraud costs $8,300 per month, and the median duration of each fraud case was 14 months.


February 2020

  • El Salvador has one of the highest rates of femicide in the world, with one woman murdered on average every three days in 2019, and 80% those crimes go unpunished. The recent high-profile murder of a Salvadoran journalist by her boyfriend prompted the government to declare femicide a national emergency.


January 2020

  • More than 61,000 people have disappeared as a result of Mexico's deadly drug war, according to new government data. While some of these cases date back to the 1960s, the majority of disappearances have occurred since the 2006 government crackdown on organised crime groups.
  • In Brazil, police killings in Rio de Janeiro reached record highs in 2019, with 1,810 people killed by police, an average of 5 per day. Critics blame the surge on the government's hard-line policies to tackle gang violence, including the use of helicopter-borne snipers to target criminals. But supporters point to proof that it's working: the number of homicides in Rio has fallen to its lowest in three decades.


November 2019


October 2019


July 2019

  • Global executions fell by almost a third in 2018 to the lowest figure in at least a decade, Amnesty International said in its global statistical review of the death penalty. 


May 2019

  • In 2018, German authorities recorded 1,800 anti-Semitic crimes nationwide, a 20% annual increase. Almost all of the crimes were reportedly perpetrated by right-wing groups.
  • The UK is home to a world-class financial services industry, but also a vast money laundering machine. The City is a key hub in the rampant kleptocracy, financial crime and tax evasion that is afflicting the world. The sums earned fraudulently are so large as to be barely comprehensible - Prospect examined the "ramshackle" system tasked with tracking them down.
  • Further reading:


March 2019

  • Since the launch of a campaign against organised crime in January 2018, China has brought more than 10,000 alleged gangsters to trial across the country. The effort aimed, in part, to assuage citizens' growing concerns about gangs' control over large portions of both the formal and informal economies.
  • Knife crimes are on the rise across Britain, according to The Econnomist. In the 12 months to March 31st 2018, 285 people were stabbed to death in England and Wales, the highest number since records began in 1946. The number of people aged 18 and under being treated for stab wounds has increased by 66% over the past five years in England. Some, including the head of the Metropolitan Police, link the outbreak in violence to cuts to police funding, which have resulted in the number of officers declining by 16% since 2010.


February 2019

  • In 1997, about 5 percent of crimes in Japan were committed by people over the age of 65. By 2017, the percentage had risen to 20. Why, asked GZEROMedia? Some say Japan’s pension system isn’t generous enough and that the elderly are choosing prison, where they’re guaranteed three meals a day, over poverty. Others add that many older Japanese would rather live within a prison community than isolated and lonely on the outside. Whatever the cause, this may become a problem worth studying in all countries with fast-expanding populations of pensioners.


January 2019

  • Refinitiv’s 2019 financial crime survey revealed that 47% of respondent companies were a victim of at least one financial crime in the last 12 months, resulting in an aggregated $1.45 trillion in lost revenue. 
  • In Brazil, criminal gangs have posed a serious challenge for the state for many years, and the problem is getting worse. In the state of Ceará, gangs are reportedly paying young people in poor communities to plant bombs and start fires. The latest wave of destruction is now in its third week. It includes attacks on banks, bridges, and other infrastructure. The kids can reportedly earn 1,000 reais ($266) for torching a bus and 5,000 reais ($1,330) for igniting “a fire of great proportions”, reported Quartz.


December 2018


November 2018


October 2018


September 2018


August 2018


July 2018

  • Of the 154,557 murders committed in Mexico from 2010 to 2016, 94.8 percent remain unpunished. Compare that figure with 52 percent in Asia and 20 percent in Europe, , noted Signal Media. 
  • Record homicide levels have sapped some $120 billion from Brazil’s economy since the mid-1990s, according to a 2018 government report. To put that in perspective, that’s almost equal to what the US spent on the Marshall Plan to revive Western Europe after World War Two, noted Signal Media. 


June 2018

  • According to CB Insights, since late 2013, a band of cybercriminals has infiltrated the digital security of 100+ banks in 40 nations to steal about $1.2bn. The string of thefts, known as Carbanak, is said to be the biggest digital bank heist in history.
  • GZEROMedia noted that multiple studies have shown that immigrants commit crimes at much lower rates than native-born citizens, and some have found that crime rates tend to drop in places where large groups of immigrants are admitted. (Three such studies can be found herehere, and here.)
  • Some 95 percent of homicides in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador go unpunished, according to the Atlantic Council. That level of impunity, coupled with some of the highest murder rates in the world, is one of the main factors pushing people to seek refuge in the United States, believes Signal Media.
  • Contrary to the media’s narrative, since 1990, the likelihood of an American being a victim of a firearm related homicide has reportedly fallen by over 28%.
  • A recent presentation explored how digital criminals will make use of new AI techniques to run amok (and what we might be able to do about it).



  • The Harvard Business Review claimed that, in Russia, more than 2.5m officials in politics, the police, taxation, education, and other fields receive a total of up $45m per year in bribes, according to a paper from Volgograd State University. 21% of Russians admit to bribing tax inspectors, 16.2% to bribing police officers and judges, and 13.9% to bribing fire inspectors. The average Russian company pays $135,800 in bribes annually, the paper says.