Abstract

The picture of street gangs as locally bounded organizations of limited range is quite extended. However, empirical evidence is lacking on street gang collaboration patterns on a population level, as well as their interaction with other types of criminal organizations. In this study, we investigate this picture by making use of population-level register data on criminal collaboration. Firstly, we map out the co-offending network of all street gangs in Sweden for the period 2011-2016, and study its connectivity. Secondly, we use the framework of link communities to identify overlapping network communities and their hierarchical structure. Lastly, we correlate community properties with individual-level characteristics, to see if there are differences and similarities between individuals in the overlaps and non-overlapping nodes. Our preliminary results show that the network consists of a giant component encompassing most of the individuals, and link community analyses provide some indication for an underlying core-periphery structure in the giant component.
 
Keywords: organized crime, street gangs, co-offending networks, overlapping communities