Since the 19th century, undetected and/or undetectable crime has been bracketed under the umbrella concept of “dark figure”. We have lately started using a different term: “neo-crime”. There is a subtle difference we’d like to explain.

Let’s look at the original problem first:

Neo-crime, then, in our definition, constitutes the following:

We use the term “neo-crime” to define those activities which cannot easily be anticipated, predicted or understood on the basis of prior experience and/or knowledge.

Neo-crime, to a greater degree than dark figure before it, takes advantage of 21st century technology, big and open data, and AI to increase the percentage of “unknown unknowns”.

Crime Hunch

In this sense, neo-crime is more the product of a creative criminality than what we might term a more habitual or learned criminality.

It’s not enough – if we wish to fight creative criminality convincingly – to just use tech, machines, and AI boxes.

To have the ability to fight fire with fire, we need to acquire the same creative capacities that criminals used, for example, in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Crime Hunch

The obvious difference is that we will aim to reverse-engineer any attempts to repeat the impact of those crimes, way before the events can take place. Using the same levels of sophisticated creativity applied to the worst fields of human endeavour, we aim to stop the bad not perpetuate it.

Using an enhanced creativity – a validated and upskilled intuition, arationality, high-level domain expertise and operationally robust “thinking without thinking” – we make law-enforcement and national security personnel the strongest link.

Instead of perpetuating the myth that their humanity must necessarily be the weakest.

Our goal, therefore, is not to track the criminals after the atrocity so much as to write the narratives of new forms of neo-terrorism, neo-terrorism on the individual (longitudinal tech-driven gaslighting on targeted societal actors), and a wider neo-crime before the event.

A neo-crime which – combined creatively with big data, open data, AI, and other cyber- and digital-tech of immensely harmful potential – is beginning to present the possibility of an exponential multiplication of dark figure’s existent unknowns.

Our journey: crime in the 21st century and beyond

In summary, our journey – crime in the 21st century and beyond – has three fundamental components. If we can crack its worst manifestation – those neo-crimes where the victims may not even realise they are victims of criminal activity – we will be able to impact on them all:

But what do you think? On the three-part crime journey we have painted, where does it hurt the most for you? In your professional opinion, where would you concentrate the efforts of a task force aimed at reverse-engineering creative criminality?

What’s your take?

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