Robbery in illicit drug markets: insights from qualitative research in Scotland

Robert McLean*, Ross Deuchar, Allan T. Moore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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While robbery is a consistent and highly featured activity of the criminal underworld, bar a small number of notable studies it is surprising to find there is not more written on the topic than one would perceive in recent academic literature: more so when considering those more nuanced aspects such as the organisation of robbery, comparative studies on the evolving nature of robbery, and robbery in illicit drug markets. This article focuses on the latter of these areas, exploring robbery within illicit drug markets. Drawing upon three studies carried out in Scotland between 2012 and 2020, the findings shed crucial light on those all too often overlooked aspects of robbery. Findings suggest robbery is most common at lower disorganised levels of the drugs trade, and is not restricted to ideal perceptions of victims. Recommendations are made for policing in Scotland and potentially further afield, whereby the nuanced nature of robbery within the context of organised crime suggests that more bespoke diversionary strategies are needed than the universal harm reduction approaches currently suggested by Scottish Government.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-28
Number of pages25
JournalUrban Crime: An international journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


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