Eurispes, the results of the Index of Territorial Permeability to Organised Crime (IPCO)

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Index of Territorial Permeability to Organised Crime (IPCO):

Territories and their capacity to resist criminal penetration

 

The creation of the Index of Permeability of Territories to Organised Crime is part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Directorate and Eurispes.

 

The research results are being presented today, 15 December, at the DNA headquarters in Rome, Via Giulia, and live online on a streaming platform.

 

Eurispes intends to offer an original contribution to the analysis and study of the mafia presence in our country through establishing an index able to measure two phenomena, distinct but closely related, vulnerability and desirability of the territories.

 

The Index of Territorial Permeability to Organised Crime (IPCO) represents an original index number, which makes it possible to compare Italian provinces on a homogeneous basis and determine a ranking.

 

The choice was guided by the desire to capture both the geographical differences present on the Italian territory and the temporal evolution of permeability with analytical detail. The ways in which infiltration and rooting take place in the territory change according to the criminal group, the historical moment and the intrinsic characteristics of the territories. This means that permeability has a complex and multidimensional nature that cannot be reduced exclusively to a phenomenon of violence but must be analysed through a broader socio-economic lens.

 

The battery of 163 elementary indexes identified for the construction of the Index is grouped into 19 composite indexes, each capturing one dimension of potential permeability. The indexes were chosen in accordance with the objective of the Index, i.e. to quantify permeability to criminal infiltration and not direct presence. Therefore, indexes measuring aspects of the territory related to potential criminal infiltration were chosen, but indexes measuring the actual penetration of crime in the territory are not used.

 

The Index of permeability to organised crime (IPCO) was obtained by combining the 19 composite indexes to summarise the complexity of the phenomenon and facilitate its understanding and communication. The aggregation is based on the methodology proposed by Mazziotta and Pareto (2018) since, unlike other methodologies, it also allows the temporal dynamics of the permeability phenomenon to be assessed.

 

In extreme synthesis, the longitudinal and cross-sectional reading of the Index demonstrates: the actual non-existence of zones of non-permeability; the coincidence between the geographical distribution of the provinces with higher permeability and that of the country’s economic and social backwardness; a heterogeneity of the causes of permeability along the Peninsula; a general decrease in the conditions of permeability over time except for some provinces; the existence of a positive correlation between the phenomenon of permeability and the occurrence of national and international economic-financial crises.

 

THE IPCO INDEX

 

As shown in the table below, higher IPCO values indicate greater permeability to criminal infiltration.

 

Index of Permeability to Organised Crime

Average values

Source: Eurispes (2020).

The following graph shows the geographical polarisation of permeability between the North and the South of Italy. The highest values of the Index are measured for the southern provinces, while the lowest values are found in the north-east. The values are also locally concentrated, i.e. neighbouring provinces tend to have similar values, but at the same time, the phenomenon is present throughout the country.

 

Index of Permeability to Organised Crime (IPCO) – Provinces

Average values

Source: Eurispes (2020).

The following graph shows the geographical polarisation of permeability between the North and the South of Italy. The highest values of the Index are measured for the southern provinces, while the lowest values are found in the north-east. The values are also locally concentrated, i.e. neighbouring provinces tend to have similar values, but at the same time, the phenomenon is present throughout the country.

 

Index of Permeability to Organised Crime (IPCO) – Provinces

Average values

Source: Eurispes (2020).

The provinces of Calabria and Campania present the highest values of the Index: the first two provinces are Crotone and Vibo Valentia, with values of 108.62 and 107.29 respectively; the third province is Naples and the fourth is Reggio di Calabria, with similar values, 106.89 and 106.88.

These four provinces have values far from the others, highlighting a marked permeability in these territories. The remaining provinces have values closer to each other, suggesting small differences in the level of permeability between neighbouring positions in the ranking. The only northern Italian province in the top 10 is Imperia, eighth in the ranking. The provinces least exposed to organised crime are in Lombardy and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, these being Monza and Brianza, Como, Udine, Pordenone and Lecco.

The map of aggregate values by region also substantially confirms the provincial trend.

 

Index of Permeability to Organised Crime (IPCO) – Regions

Average values

Source: Eurispes (2020).

 

The dynamic analysis (over time) of the Index has instead revealed a general growth in resistance to organised crime: there are no provinces with a high level that have seen their level decrease, while those with a low level are also those that have decreased the most in proportion; this circumstance has led to the growth of differences in the levels of permeability between the provinces.

 

The exceptions are: the province of Rome, whose level of permeability grew by 3.28 points, moving up in the ranking by 44 positions; the province of Milan, whose level grew by 2.57, moving up 39 positions, the highest growth.

 

Other provinces showing rising values are Chieti (+2.08) and two Sicilian provinces, Siracusa and Messina, which have increasing values and high ones. This reveals a delicate situation for the Sicilian region, as Palermo and Agrigento have also increased their permeability.

 

Among the most virtuous provinces, which saw their IPCO value fall, Bolzano was the best. Unfortunately, the province’s IPCO value fell by 8.38 points, dropping 71 places in the ranking. Other provinces that stood out for a decrease in the IPCO were Matera (-4.86), Terni (-4.74) and Lodi (-4.70).

 

Therefore, the dynamic analysis of the IPCO shows: a general decrease in the level of permeability on the national territory; heterogeneous trends among the provinces; an increase in the differences among the areas; a reduction in the most severe cases of permeability; the absence of the North-South polarisation observed in the static analysis.

 

Grouping the provinces according to the decomposition of the indexes that make up IPCO reveals that: the permeability of the South is mainly due to social vulnerability; the permeability of the North is primarily linked to speculative and profit-making opportunities.

 

The analysis of the 19 composite indexes allows to break down the IPCO to understand better where the origin of permeability lies; these are: agriculture; economic activities (agriculture, banks, services, industry, construction); economic structure; entrepreneurial fabric; payment system; real estate market; financial situation (companies, families); unconventional finance; poverty; labour market; demography; quality of institutions; crime (spy crimes, petty crime, economic crimes).

 

The indexes on poverty, the labour market and the inadequacy of institutions stand out for their strong North-South polarisation. On the contrary, the banks, services, and household financial conditions indexes show a weak polarisation and geographical connotation.

 

Some indexes also have an asymmetric distribution that reveals how some provinces are particularly permeable in the relative dimension measured by the index. The clearest cases are the virtuous case of Milan in the poverty index and the negative case of Naples in the economic crimes index. Asymmetry is also found in the distribution of other economic and financial indexes, such as industry, construction, financial conditions of enterprises and conventional finance, and social and criminal indexes, such as those on the labour market and petty crime. For example, the indexes on poverty and the labour market have a great variability between the values of the provinces, describing very heterogeneous situations, while the indexes on industry and entrepreneurship have a more contained variability, thus describing a substantial homogeneity between the provinces.

 

The study by Eurispes,” comments the National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor, Federico Cafiero de Raho, “is of great importance for the scientific observation of complex phenomena, which provides very interesting indications that help us to project with ever greater precision the strategies for combating them on the ground and, at the same time, indicates the most fragile points of our economic and social system”.

 

The nature of permeability to organised crime,” explains Eurispes President Gian Maria Fara, “takes different forms depending on the area. In fact, organised crime has demonstrated its ability to adapt its growth strategies to the needs of the territory, often managing to present itself as an alternative to legal resources, especially for the most vulnerable social categories. This allows these organisations to increase both their control over the territory and the support they receive from it. In addition, Fara continues, by infiltrating legal production, organised crime camouflages its conduct, making it more difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal. This is true both for the production processes and for the resources used and the forms of organisation and competition, to the serious detriment of the most virtuous businesses, the credibility of an entire economic system, and confidence in its financial structure and the flows that emanate from it.

 

In general, the President of Eurispes concludes that the widespread vulnerability of the southern provinces is mainly due to economic and social fragility, which drive criminal groups to more traditional forms of control of the territory, which generate greater fragility. In the northern provinces, vulnerability is more linked to the productive world, where criminal groups can infiltrate by virtue of the financial strength obtained through illicit proceeds”.

 

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