Federal moves on organised crime

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                                                  Police News            73rd Annual Conference
                                                                                             MOTIONS ON NOTICE


mandatory sentencing has become a           on the street.” Mr O’Callaghan assured           system which he said were costing
big issue. The Butcher incident was a       delegates the new auxiliary officers             millions of dollars in wasted money.
flashpoint for public opinion. While I      would not be working side by side with              He said the State could save a fortune
think we need it, I don’t think it will     them on the front line. He emphasised            by streamlining the court system. Getting
solve all of our problems. The problem      that they were support staff.                    magistrates to work afternoon shifts
is a lot deeper than that but mandatory        He said that the150 auxiliary officers        would not only save millions of dollars
sentencing will act as some form of         funded in the State budget would be              but would mean prisoners were not kept
deterrent.                                  employed to liberate police from jobs            in police lockups.
                                            which police did not want to do anyway.             Survey results showed that some 60
TASERS                                      They would do custodial care, drug               per cent of police officers said they spent
  “The feedback from police on Tasers       transports, property transports and load         more than five hours sitting around
as a tool has been enormously positive.     property onto the system.                        every time they went to court waiting to
They save lives. If you make a mistake         These were jobs which currently               give evidence.
with a Taser it’s much better than making   distracted police officers – both GD’s              “These things have to be fixed,” Mr
a mistake with a Glock. But they are not    and Detectives – from their front line           O’Callaghan said. “There are a lot of
there to be used as compliance tools.       work. Auxiliary officers would not patrol        ways to improve the justice system in
Use them properly and they are very         in vans and they would not walk the              WA. Also, police should not be moving
good.                                       beat or be tactically trained. They were         or detaining juveniles and it’s time it
  “The cost of personal issue Tasers        solely support staff.                            stopped.It’s not right for police officers
would be phenomenal but you will               Mr O’Callaghan was particularly               to move people around the State to
have access to a Taser when you go out      critical of custodial care and the court         attend court.”



Federal moves on organised crime
Edited address to conference by Mr Chris Hayes, Federal Member for Werriwa
   Organised crime clearly affects many
areas of social and economic activity,
inflicting substantial harm on the
community, business and government.
   It is against this backdrop of
community harm that the Parliamentary
Joint Committee for the Australian
Crime Commission has been inquiring
into legislative arrangements to outlaw
serious and organised crime groups.
   During the course of the inquiry, the
Committee was directed by the Minister
for Home Affairs to specifically examine
international legislative arrangements
and to assess their effectiveness in the
fight against serious and organised
crime.
   As a consequence, a Committee             Federal Member for Werriwa, Mr Chris Hayes, addresses the Union conference.
delegation visited law enforcement
jurisdictions in North America, the            The delegation identified five key                 enforcement and other agencies,
United Kingdom and Europe.                  findings as being effective in tackling               both within governments and
   The Committee’s report and findings      serious and organised crime including:                between governments;
in respect to the legislative responses        • The importance of ‘following the               • The benefits of developing measures
of international jurisdictions to serious        money trail’;                                    to prevent organised crime, rather
and organised crime has recently been          • The need for information sharing                 than simply reacting to it;
tabled in Federal Parliament and enjoys          and greater cooperation among law              • The critical role that political will
bipartisan support.

                                                                                                      WA Police News August 2009 19
Union News, Information - www.wapolun.org.au




    plays in combating serious and             PREVENTION MEASURES                            deal with corruption in government,
    organised crime; and                          There is a growing awareness of the         politics and law enforcement in fighting
  • The need for governments to take           link between social exclusion, social          organised crime.
    a holistic approach to tackling            disadvantage and crime. It was found              The key findings outlined all have
    organised crime, through a                 countries such as the UK now consider          relevance for Australia’s consideration
    whole package of legislative and           harm reduction as a key performance            of legislative and administrative
    administrative measures.                   indicator of law enforcement.                  arrangements to combat serious and
                                                  Serious Crime Prevention Orders             organised crime.
FOLLOW MONEY TRAIL                             can be made when a person has been                In fact, recently the Attorney-
   In every jurisdiction which the             convicted of a serious offence and there       General, Robert McClelland, introduced
Committee visited, law enforcement             are reasonable grounds to believe that         legislation into the Parliament -
strategies which target the business           the order would protect the public by          specifically the Crimes Legislation
model and financial and material assets        restricting association in communities.        Amendment (Serious and Organised
of organised crime were raised as a               The approach casts law enforcement          Crime) Bill 2009 - which will implement
crucial strategy for disrupting organised      as a pro-active force and legitimises          reforms to Commonwealth laws as part
criminal activity.                             strategies to prevent harm to individuals      of a comprehensive national response to
   We were informed that one of the            or society more generally.                     combat serious and organised crime.
most effective elements in targeting                                                             This Bill seeks to implement measures
criminal assets is to develop strong laws      POLITICAL WILL                                 agreed between Commonwealth, States
to confiscate criminal assets and prevent         The important issue of political will       and Territories and will:
them from being used to fund further           was raised as being critical to driving both      • Strengthen criminal asset
crime.                                         domestic and international responses to              confiscation regimes
   In many of the jurisdictions visited,       organised crime. To tackle organised              • Introduce unexplained wealth
non-conviction based civil asset               crime, unflinching commitment from                   provisions
forfeiture laws are increasingly viewed        government at all levels is needed.               • Enhance police powers to investigate
as an effective tool for disrupting and           The United Nations Interregional                  organised crime through new laws
dismantling serious and organised              Crime and Justice Research Institute                 regarding controlled operations
crime.                                         and the United Nations Office on                  • Extend criminal liability to all
   The Committee heard of the                  Drugs and Crime both discussed the                   individuals who jointly commit an
effectiveness of the UK’s approach of          lack of political will as being the most             offence, and
reversing the onus of proof for civil          significant impediment to the success of          • Broaden the list of offences where
assets forfeiture proceedings regarding        international collaboration on organised             telecommunications interception
those who have had led a ‘criminal             crime.                                               powers will be available.
lifestyle’.                                                                                      New unexplained wealth provisions
   Clearly, unexplained wealth was             HOLISTIC APPROACH                              will be a key component of these
seen as a primary strategy to disrupting         To prevent, disrupt and punish all           reforms. These provisions will target
organised crime by removing the                aspects of organised crime we need             people who profit from crime and
economic incentive to criminal activity.       to take a holistic view to the problem         whose wealth exceeds the value of their
                                               which includes:                                lawful earnings.
INTELLGENCE SHARING                              • Effective measures to prevent                 In many cases, people who organise
   We know that sharing information                 corruption;                               and profit from crime are not linked
and intelligence presents challenges and         • Appropriate investigative powers           directly to the commission of the
this was no different in all the countries          for police to keep up to date with        offence. They will seek to distance
visited.                                            technology;                               themselves from the crime in order
   Information and intelligence sharing          • Strong witness protection programs;        to avoid prosecution and confiscation
among different agencies is becoming                and                                       action.
increasingly important and we know               • Ensuring the legal system does not            However, unlike confiscation, new
how significant this is as organised                cause unnecessary impediment to           unexplained wealth orders will not
crime becomes more sophisticated.                   combatting organised crime.               require proof of a link to the commission
   Given the rise in trans-national              It was suggested that in the US,             of a specific offence. Also of significance
aspects of serious and organised crime,        established criminal groups are                is that in respect to unexplained wealth
not only in respect to participants but        politically well connected and that as         there will be a reverse onus of proof.
the nature of the enterprise, we were          the criminal enterprise becomes more              These measures will target the
advised of the increasing importance of        sophisticated it will target individuals in    perpetrators and profits of organised
intelligence sharing at a trans-national       high public office.                            crime and will provide our police with
level, between the agencies of different         United Nations Office on Drugs and           the tools they need to combat the
countries.                                     Crime told us of the importance of             increasingly sophisticated methods used
                                               developing mechanisms to prevent and           by organised crime syndicates.

20 WA Police News June 2009

				
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