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Serious and Organized Crime

What is Organized Crime?

Under the Criminal Code (Section 467.1), Organized Crime is defined as being composed of three or more persons, having as one of its main purposes a serious offence likely to result in a financial benefit. So, just about any type of illicit activity can be undertaken by organized crime groups, as long as there is money to be made. Identity theft, human trafficking, sex crimes against children, credit card fraud and counterfeit goods, just to name a few, can, and often do have links to organized crime.

The Impact of Organized Crime

Organized crime affects the daily lives of Canadians. You may not be aware of it, but it can affect the taxes you pay (tax revenue losses from contraband tobacco and alcohol); your car insurance premiums (higher auto insurance due to car thefts by organized crime rings); your banking fees (banks recovering fraud costs); even your safety and health (drug-related violence, faulty counterfeit goods, and neighborhood marihuana grow operations). In terms of economic-related crimes (e.g. credit & debit card fraud), it is estimated that organized crime costs Canadians $5 billion every year; that translate into $600 a year for a family of four.

Globalization and rapid advances in technology have contributed to the expansion and internationalization of organized crime activities; Canadians can easily fall victim to organized crime groups operating outside of our borders, (identity theft, internet, e-mail scams, phishing, etc.), making it a global problem that cannot be fought solely within our borders.

The violence and corrupting effect of organized crime groups are mainstays of primary activities, which greatly affect every Canadian’s right to safety and security.

Plans and Priorities

The RCMP is committed to safe homes and safe communities for all Canadians, and to accomplish this we identified the fight against organized crime as a strategic priority in 2001. Using an intelligence-led, integrated approach, the RCMP is focusing its activities on reducing the threat and impact of organized crime. In fulfilling its mandate, the RCMP is working closely with domestic and international partners in a sustained effort to dismantle today’s criminal groups. To contribute to a successful outcome, the RCMP will:

  • reduce the total harmful effects caused by organized crime by disrupting illicit markets
  • improve the quality of the criminal intelligence/information process
  • share intelligence with partners and cooperate with enforcement units at the municipal, national and international levels
  • formulate an up-to-date picture of the threat of organized crime and prioritize investigations
  • provide scientific and technical support and new technologies to enhance investigative abilities
  • enhance public awareness of the dangers and impacts of organized crime
  • reduce demand for illicit products

Learn more:


Other Strategic Priorities: Aboriginal Communities | Economic Integrity | Terrorism | Youth