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Taking Care of BusinessPolice Detectives, Drug Law Enforcement and Proactive Investigation$
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Matthew Bacon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687381

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687381.001.0001

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The Illegal Drug Business

The Illegal Drug Business

Chapter:
(p.48) 3 The Illegal Drug Business
Source:
Taking Care of Business
Author(s):

Matthew Bacon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687381.003.0003

This chapter provides a narrative review of the research literature on the illegal drug business in order to explore this subterranean world of work and play and paint a picture of what the police who deal with drugs are up against. Drawing on studies of drug markets, deviant lifestyles and the informal economy, it considers who drug dealers are, what motivates them to sell drugs, how dealing enterprises are organized, and how they perceive and manage risk. The analysis reveals that drug markets are largely shaped by the actors involved in the trade, the commodities being traded, and the socio-economic and cultural context of the market setting. The chapter concludes by considering some implications for the policing of drugs.

Keywords:   deviant lifestyle, drug dealers, drug markets, informal economy, organized crime, risk management, violence

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