Enforcement, ranging from threats, intimidation, to assault and homicide, has long been an established practice within criminal networks. However, comparatively little academic research exists about the nature and role of enforcers within and beyond the context of contract killings. Drawing on qualitative interviews with criminal enforcers from two contrasting sites within the UK—the West Scotland and the West Midlands—the current study examines the articulated, identifiable pathways into criminal enforcement; the nuanced nature of enforcement and the roles those men commonly adopt within the context of organised crime, and the relationship between these men’s activity, the wider context of organised crime, and presence of social and cultural capital within it. This article provides insights into how one becomes an enforcer; how contact is made between all parties involved; the degree of planning involved; and costing arrangements, with important implications for research and practice.
- debt collecting
- organised crime