Retired Dutch police officer Ludo Block writes on "European Police Cooperation on Art Crime: A Comparative Overview" in the fifth issue of The Journal of Art Crime (Spring 2011). This is Mr. Block's abstract:
The academic literature in the field of cross-border policing tends to concentrate exclusively on the high-level crimes -- drug trafficking, terrorism, and human trafficking -- that are so often the focus of transnational police cooperation in criminal investigations. There are, however, many other types of transnational crime, including the often neglected art crime, which may represent the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world, outranked only by drug and arms trafficking. Drawing on existing literature and interviews with practitioners, this study provides a comparative overview of the policing efforts on art crime in a number of European Union (EU) member states and examines the relevant policy initiatives of the Council of the EU, Europol, and the European Police College. It also addresses existing practices of and obstacles to police cooperation in the field of art crime in the EU. The study reveals that EU police cooperation in this field occurs among a relatively small group of specialists and that -- particularly given the general lack of political and public attention -- the personal dedication of these specialists is an indispensable driver in this cooperation.
Ludo Block is a senior investigator at Grant Thornton Forensic & Investigation Services in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Previously he served over 17 years with the Netherlands' police and held senior positions in the Amsterdam police. Between 1999 and 2004 he was stationed in Moscow as the Netherlands' police liaison officer for the Russian Federation and surrounding countries. Ludo holds a Masters in Social Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where he currently is finalizing his PhD (Public Administration) on European Police Cooperation.