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Business & Economy

Teesside University professor gets recognition for research into organised crime

A leading figure in the study of organised crime, whose research is used extensively by law enforcement and government agencies to tackle illicit markets, has received national recognition for his work.

Professor Georgios Antonopoulos, Teesside University’s Professor of Criminology in the school of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law, leads research into the financing of organised crime activities. He has carried out research for the police, the Ministry of Justice and the European Commission.

His work has now led him to be conferred as a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, as a leading social scientist recognised for the excellence and impact of his work through the use of social science for public benefit.

Professor Antonopoulos’ work forms part of international projects on the financial aspects of organised crime. Findings from his research were used to produce a manual for law enforcement agencies throughout the EU to increase the capacity of law-enforcement agencies to tackle organised crime groups by targeting their weakest points.

His research into organised crime financing has been based on a variety of datasets, including compelling interviews with active criminal entrepreneurs operating in the illicit tobacco, cocaine and counterfeit products markets. He has used this information to create case study accounts of the social organisations within those markets and details of their financial management.

Professor Antonopoulos has advised investigative journalists and provided expertise for television documentaries on contraband in the UK and Greece. He has also acted as a consultant for the intelligence unit within Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ Excise Tobacco Team, as well as an expert for the Cabinet Office’s National Security Risk Assessment.

His current work involves collaborative research into establishing a National Trading Standards set of guidelines to provide practical advice for law enforcement.

The impact of Professor Antonopoulos’ research has been felt internationally and domestically through the uptake of its findings by law enforcement agencies and other governmental organisations.

The recognition from the Academy of Social Sciences follows an extensive peer review process, with other social scientists also recognised working in various fields, including higher education, social, economic and environmental policy, government, law, charitable foundations and think tanks.

Professor Antonopoulos said: “I am really honoured to receive this fellowship, especially as peers have been involved in deciding that the work I am involved in is important and significant enough to merit recognition.”