The European Union (EU) Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) 2017 is a detailed analysis of the threat of serious and organised crime facing the EU providing information for practitioners, decision-makers and the wider public. Europol is the EU’s law enforcement agency and assists the 28 EU Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism. For the SOCTA 2017, Europol has undertaken the largest-ever data collection on serious and organised crime in the EU. Europol relied on thousands of contributions by Member States, Europol’s operational and strategic partners outside the EU and our institutional partners as well as operational intelligence held in Europol’s databases to produce the most detailed assessment of the nature and scale of criminal threats facing the EU and its Member States.
Serious and organised crime in the EU features a great variety of criminal activities, which are increasing in complexity and scale. Criminals quickly adopt and integrate new technologies into their modi operandi or build brand-new business models around them. The use of new technologies by organised crime groups (OCGs) has an impact on criminal activities across the spectrum of serious and organised crime. This includes developments online, such as the expansion of online trade and widespread availability of encrypted communication channels.