The IMOBEX project runs from April 2021 to April 2023 and comprises the following activities:
The first package of activities includes the gathering of information on the types of itinerant criminal groups involved in property crimes in general, the range of property crimes these groups commit, and available knowledge about links with exploitation for criminal purposes. In addition, we will gather information on the countries of origin of itinerant criminal groups as observed in the respective countries, on countries where these groups commit crimes, and on the main barriers encountered by enforcement agencies in tackling mobile banditry. IMOBEX will analyse the different stages of the criminal process (e.g. goods, money, and information flows) and explore good practices in practical investigation cases, For this purpose, country studies are conducted in Albania, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, and Romania. We will analyse the gaps that occur in effective and efficient interventions of mobile banditry at the intersection of exploitation for criminal purposes from the perspective of the legal and practical infrastructures, including policies.
The second package of activities focuses on identifying and developing practical strategies to combat mobile banditry at the nexus of exploitation for criminal purposes during a workshop to which experts from (international) enforcement agencies, such as Europol, Interpol, and the World Customs Organisation; legal experts; and representatives from other relevant institutions will be invited. The aim is to develop practical and novel intervention strategies and actions to overcome gaps in the legal and practical infrastructure and is to result in a road map for the EU, its member states, and third countries.
The third package of activities is centred around an organised crime field lab in which enforcement officers apply innovative intervention strategies to an actual ‘business case.’ The field lab method is specifically designed to address ‘wicked problems’ based on the philosophy of multi-agency interventions and training of enforcement personnel in applying these. Training comprises knowledge and skills, cooperation, leadership, and progress monitoring. Key element of the methodology is to learn how to cooperate with law enforcement colleagues from other departments and, when appropriate, with colleagues from other countries. The field lab will be organised in Romania and run for approximately 12 months and includes workshops, field lab days, and concludes with a stock-taking session, in which the team shows which practical activities have been executed during the field lab, including results achieved, lessons learned, and barriers they may have experienced.