Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 08:30:25 AM EST
There is in the UK an evolving police strategy, particularly in dealing with the drug traffic, known as 'Disruption': it's an updated approach to the First Commandment of fraud investigation - 'Follow the Money' - and along the same lines as the tax evasion charge that saw off Al Capone.
This recent article outlines the Disruption strategy's use in Scotland
Scottish FBI arrests over 70 Scottish Crime Lords
MORE than £33 million worth of drugs have been seized and a record number of crime bosses arrested in the past year, according to figures that reveal how Scottish police are cracking down on serious and organised crime.
The Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) - nicknamed Scotland's FBI - said it had been able to use better intelligence to pinpoint "soft spots" in sophisticated criminal operations.
It said more so-called "Mr Bigs" than ever had been arrested in 2010-11. Over that period, 73 of the 195 people taken into custody were "level 3" criminals and effectively ringleaders of major crime gangs, compared with 136 arrests, with 67 at level three, the previous year.
An interesting take follows below from someone I know in London who has pretty good high-level contacts. I take it with a pinch of salt, of course, since as far as the authorities go, I favour cock-up over conspiracy every time.
Rather than the crack-down he clearly favours, I think - as a Civil Liberties type myself - a better approach might actually be to treat the causes, not the symptoms. ie legalise and regulate drug use, and give people something useful and fulfilling to to do instead of dealing and using drugs.