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AIC: New research reveals the different recorded offending trajectories among individuals involved in Australian organised crime.

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New research reveals the different recorded offending trajectories among individuals involved in Australian organised crime.

  • Four groups were identified that differed in terms of their onset, peak and frequency of offending. Groups also differed in offending versatility, seriousness and escalation.
  • There was a large group of late-onset offenders. These are individuals who do not have any involvement with the criminal justice system until relatively late in life.
  • There were different pathways into organised crime offending, including serious drug trafficking offences, which reflect the different recruitment pathways.


Read: Organised crime and criminal careers: Findings from an Australian sample
 

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Copyright © 2021 Australian Institute of Criminology, All rights reserved.

 https://www.aic.gov.au/privacy


 

Tackling Serious and Organised Crime: Responses to Criminal Digitalisation & Globalisation

Thursday, September 30th 2021

Time of Event: 9:30 AM — 1:00 PM

Place of Event: Webinar

Public Policy Exchange 

Key Speakers

Paddy Tipping, Former Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Unmesh Desai AM, Chair of Police & Crime Committee at London City Hall

Peter Squires, Professor [Emeritus] of Criminology & Public Policy at University of Brighton

Andrew Wallis OBE, CEO of Unseen

 

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Overview

According to Home Office estimates, Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) costs the UK more than £37 billion per year and includes drug trafficking, human trafficking, organised illegal immigration, high value crimes, organised acquisitive crime and cybercrime. Following the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) 2021 National Strategic Assessment of SOC, two worrying trends can be identified. Firstly, most decreasing offending can be directly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures; secondly, cybercrime and other online criminal activities are on the rise.

From 2020-21, the NCA’s estimate of individuals engaged in SOC surged from 50,000 to 70,000. Crimes that did actually decrease over this period, such as firearms violence and other forms of physical harm, are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels after lockdown lifts, continuing its upward trend from 2013 to 2019. The increase in drug use during the pandemic also led to the continual expansion of the drug network, exacerbating existing SOCs like county line drug trade and, worse, human trafficking. According to Unseen, criminal exploitation rose by 42% in 2020, and drug-trafficking remains to be one of the most prevalent types of exploitation. As communications technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, SOCs and other criminal activities must be reconsidered at an international and digital level. The scale of the recent ANOM arrests should be a testament to the complexity of modern criminal networks.

In response to these challenges, the UK government has introduced several bills this year. The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 mandates cross-county cooperation with its ‘Serious Violence partnership’ to detect and investigate organised violent crimes, whereas the Covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) Bill 2021 grants law enforcement Undercover operatives (UCOs) more powers in infiltration campaigns. These attempts to root out the causes and operating capacity of criminal groups are continuations of the “whole system” approach outlined in the 2018 updated Serious and Organised Crime Strategy. On a local level, London mayor Sadiq Khan has invested to expand the Metropolitan Police force and pledges to focus on preventive measures such as the existing DIVERT intervention programme and the Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF). In recent years, there has also been an increase in cooperation between local authorities and community groups (Hackney Gang Intervention Project and Southwark’s SERVE programme). Other enforcement measures, such as police presence in public spaces and the use of stop and search, are similarly strengthened.

However, organisations such as FairTrials and the Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) have warned that the 2021 Policing Bill might further disadvantage minorities in the criminal justice system, who are already grossly overrepresented. Labour traces this stagnation in tackling SOC to the government’s lacklustre community preventive measures. Moreover, the role of education, youth and prison authorities in the new Serious Violence Partnership scheme remains vague and requires clarity. On the privacy front, the adoption of new technology to tackle violent crimes, including the controversial ANOM infiltration or London Met’s introduction of Neoface, has received myriads of pushback from privacy and human rights groups. The problem is compounded by other factors such as shifting UK-EU relations and economic recovery after the pandemic, which renders the UK more vulnerable to SOCs than at any time in recent history. 

In light of these developments, this timely symposium will offer police officers, community safety partnerships, local safeguarding boards and other key stakeholders, with a timely and invaluable opportunity to exchange ideas, share best practice and develop innovative strategies to effectively respond to the growing risks associated with Serious and Organised Crime.

Program

  • Review the state of Serious and Organised Crimes (SOCs) in the UK and responses by the government
  • Understand the effects of Covid-19 and Brexit on criminal activity in the UK
  • Analyse the effectiveness of the UK government’s current strategies and methods in tackling violent SOCs
  • Examine the role of local community groups and the private sector in tackling SOCs
  • Rethink financial and economic crimes in the context of a “Whole-System Approach” to SOCs
  • Discuss the concerns of privacy and surveillance raised by the general public
  • Identify key priorities for future national strategies
  • Evaluate new technologies and innovations that can effectively address SOCs

Who Should Attend?

  • Regional Organised Crime Units
  • Serious and Organised Crime Local Partnerships
  • Police Service
  • Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Serious and Organised Crime Officers and Advisers
  • Community Safety Partnerships
  • Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships
  • Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs
  • Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences
  • Offender Management Services
  • Fraud Prevention Teams
  • Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Teams
  • E-crime Teams
  • Local Criminal Justice Boards
  • Prison and Probation Services
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Criminal Justice Practitioners
  • Victim Support Services
  • Victim Care/Advocacy Organisations
  • Neighbourhood Policing Teams
  • Youth Offending Teams
  • Youth Justice Boards
  • Health and Wellbeing Board
  • Local Safeguarding Boards
  • Immigration Enforcement Teams
  • Human Trafficking Teams
  • Troubled Families Teams
  • Local Safeguarding Children Boards
  • Community Cohesion Officers
  • Community Engagement Officers
  • Third Sector Practitioners
  • Academics, Analysts and Researchers

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AIC: New study identifies cyber strategies with the potential to identify and protect victims of child abuse material

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New study identifies cyber strategies with the potential to identify and protect victims of child abuse material

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has today released a paper that identifies cyber strategies that have the potential to identify victims of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and detect offenders.

Cyber strategies used to combat child sexual abuse material reviews existing research on cyber strategies to disrupt and prevent CSAM offending.

The study identified five key cyber strategies: peer-to-peer network monitoring; automated CSAM detection tools; web crawlers; pop-up warning messages; and facial recognition.

AIC Deputy Director Dr Rick Brown said these strategies also have the potential to automate the removal of large amounts of CSAM, identify CSAM sites for detection and prevent individuals from viewing and sharing the material.

“During National Child Protection Week, this is incredibly hopeful news, and puts us one step closer to improving our understanding of an extremely serious and harmful form of crime against our most vulnerable children.

“The automated nature of these identified strategies is particularly important given the demands placed on law enforcement by the dramatic growth in CSAM,” Dr Brown said.

The report is available at https://doi.org/10.52922/ti78313

This research was undertaken by the University of the Sunshine Coast as part of the AIC’s Child Sexual Abuse Material Reduction Research Program. The program was funded through a grant made under Section 298 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth).

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Webinar: Combatting Knife Crime: Making Communities Safer & Working in Partnership to Tackle Serious Youth Violence

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Knife crime is at its highest recorded level in the past 10 years, with 46,000 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales in the year ending March 2020. During the COVID-19 lockdown period, police have recorded rises in knife crime and youth violence throughout many parts of the UK. Of further concern is that in 2020, the number of ‘children in need’ assessments that identified gangs as a factor increased by 34%.

In an effort to combat this sharp rise in knife crime, on 4 February 2021, the government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22, an increase of up to £636 million compared to 2020/21. The government have also introduced the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in March this year, seeking to increase minimum sentencing for certain offences, introduce provisions for the management of offenders, including new targeted stop and search powers for the police targeting knife crime offenders. In particular, Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) aim to implement the government’s manifesto commitment to target known knife carriers, making it easier for officers to stop and search those previously convicted of a knife crime. This seeks to help the police target those most at risk of being drawn into serious violence, deter offenders from carrying weapons, and “set them on a more positive path” (Home Office, 2021).

While there has been growing cross-party consensus supporting early intervention projects and treating knife crime as a public health problem, the British Youth Council have criticised the government’s recent effort to combat knife crime as a “punitive approach”. The decision to address knife crime primarily with hard powers has also led Kevin Blowe of the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) to argue that the proposals risk “creating a class of people who are treated as ‘permanent criminals’ – or who are regularly misidentified as such”. Critics of the the Bill suggest that tackling knife crime from a public health or social problem has been replaced by a tougher criminal stance.

Furthermore, campaign groups such as Liberty Human Rights have highlighted concerns that communities of colour are already searched at significantly higher rates, with black people 8.9 times more likely to be subject to a stop and search than their white peers. The Home Office itself has conceded that a disproportionate number of black males will be impacted by SVROs, however little effort has been made to remedy this, with the Home Secretary stating that “the government’s number one job is to keep our people safe”. Criticism of this approach is supported by the British Youth Council, who have urged a roll back of stop and search powers “until the disproportionate targeting of black males has been addressed”. Campaigners argue that long-term studies, including one of Metropolitan Police data, show that stop and search has only a marginal impact on crime reduction.

Bernado’s have also raised concerns for the ‘hidden’ children of the pandemic who may be more vulnerable to exploitation. They have called for the Bill to be amended to introduce a statutory definition of ‘criminal exploitation’ to help identify victims and make sure they are supported appropriately.

In reflection of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and increase in funding programmes to tackle knife-crime, this symposium offers an insightful opportunity for practitioners across the police service, education, health and third sector to examine the Government’s latest strategies to tackle serious youth crime, share best practice and consider the next steps in confronting knife crime, to reduce the level of violence on our streets. Delegates will also explore how to implement a coordinated early intervention approach to identify those most vulnerable; divert young people away from crime and build more positive futures.

Program

  • Assess the impact of Covid-19 on the spread of knife crime and the increasing number of vulnerable young people being exploited as a result
  • Consider how to better identify and support children and young people at risk of committing a knife-related crime
  • Discuss alternative ways to make communities safer, such as that from a public health perspective, or more innovative early intervention solutions
  • Examine concerns with the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and whether it will succeed in its aim of tackling knife crime
  • Consider the impact that an increase in police stop and search powers will have on relationships between the public and police
  • Discuss whether the government’s strategy addresses the root causes of knife crime and develop an understanding of what a long-term strategy may look like
  • Explore collaborative opportunities and discuss better preventative measures

To register for the briefing, please click here.

 

Latest crime and justice publications from the AIC

The latest crime and justice publications from the AIC and resources from around the world are now available from our Alert Service. Popular topics can be accessed from the drop down list and wherever possible full text is provided via an Electronic Resource link.
Please feel free to share this with your colleagues and let them know that they can also subscribe to the list.


Newest AIC publications
Court appearances via video link for young people in detention in Queensland (August 2021)
Patterns and predictors of reoffending among child sexual offenders: A rapid evidence assessment (August 2021)
Effective management of serious police misconduct: A machine learning analysis (August 2021)
Predicting prolific live streaming of child sexual abuse (August 2021)
Responding to cybercrime: Results of a comparison between community members and police personnel (August 2021)

 

The latest crime and justice publications from the AIC and resources from around the world are now available from our Alert Service. Popular topics can be accessed from the drop down list and wherever possible full text is provided via an Electronic Resource link.


Newest AIC publications
Court appearances via video link for young people in detention in Queensland (August 2021)
Patterns and predictors of reoffending among child sexual offenders: A rapid evidence assessment (August 2021)
Effective management of serious police misconduct: A machine learning analysis (August 2021)
Predicting prolific live streaming of child sexual abuse (August 2021)
Responding to cybercrime: Results of a comparison between community members and police personnel (August 2021)


Regards
AIC Library
frontdesk@aic.gov.au