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Brief: April 2009

ISSN 1836-8026
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, April 2009

Welcome to the first edition of Brief

Welcome to the first issue of a new publication for AIC stakeholders — Brief.

The newsletter has been designed with the aim of providing a regular summary of Institute research and activity in a convenient and cost-effective format. We hope it will help to build closer ties between the Australian Institute of Criminology and our partners in the law enforcement and criminal justice communities.

Each issue will provide a summary of recent AIC activity with our stakeholders and partners. It will include a list of recent research publications and event outcomes and look at topical areas of research and towards coming events.

Brief will also highlight staff profiles, AIC services and innovations. It will be available on our website at www.aic.gov.au/publications/brief/.

The electronically produced colour magazine is compiled from contributions by research and communications staff, edited and designed in-house and will be distributed via email to all AIC stakeholders three times a year, with editions in April, August and December.

We look forward to continuing our strong, collaborative relationships and keeping you abreast of our activities.

Tony Marks | Acting Director

AIC co-hosts international anti-money laundering conference

Attorney-General Robert McClellandAnti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Conference 2009: Managing Risk: Australian and International Perspectives

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) joined with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the Attorney-General's Department and the Australian Bankers' Association in hosting the international conference on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) in Sydney from 1–2 April.

The flagship AML/CTF event in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region for 2009, the theme of the conference was Managing Risk: Australian and International Perspectives.

Some 250 key stakeholders from the broad range of industries covered by AML/CTF legislation were in attendance at the Hilton Hotel to discuss insights and strategies on the management and mitigation of AML/CTF risks. The event was the first of its kind in Australia and comprised keynote addresses, panel discussions and concurrent sessions provided by a range of distinguished international and Australian speakers from both the private and public sectors.

The conference was opened with speeches by Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department, Roger Wilkins.

The AIC's visiting fellow, Professor Michael Levi, presented the dinner address on the impressive political history of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing and explored what might be the limits of such activity.

A number of well-attended panel sessions encouraged debate and interaction, including a panel session on the Wickenby investigation chaired by the AIC's General Manager of Research, Dr Judy Putt.

Dr Russell Smith presented a paper in the panel session on Global Trends in Money Laundering which reviewed the key outcomes of the AIC's AML/CTF research program by examining the crime displacement risks associated with the AML/CTF regulatory regime.

Conference delegates included decision-makers from banking and finance, gambling, money service and other businesses, industry bodies, government and the education sector. Sponsors for the conference were the Australasian Casino Association, Arab Bank Australia and Western Union.

The objectives of the conference were to establish a government-led forum where industry and government could inform and guide attendees on the current thinking and best practices in implementing AML/CTF legislation.

It also provided an insight into current international standards and objectives and useful knowledge to motivate better compliance from reporting entities.

The conference program, including presentations by key speakers, is available from the conference website www.aic.gov.au/conferences/2009-anti-money_laundering/index.html

AIC analyst wins Fulbright Scholarship

Dr Kim Kwang (Raymond) ChooAustralian Institute of Criminology (AIC) research analyst Dr Kim Kwang (Raymond) Choo has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to visit the United States to study the future cybercrime threat environment.

Fulbright scholars, students and teachers are selected on the basis of academic merit and excellence reflecting the mutual interests of the partner nations. Since its inception in Australia, over 2,500 Australians and 1,800 Americans have been recognised as Fulbright scholars and undertaken study and research in our respective countries.

Dr Choo has been awarded the 2009 Fulbright Professional Australia–US Alliance Studies Scholarship, sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He will spend three months at the Rutgers University's School of Criminal Justice and the Palo Alto Research Center to undertake the project.

The recent author of AIC reports in the areas of cybercrime and anti-money laundering, including Future directions in technology-enabled crime: 2007–09, Raymond has a PhD in Information Security from the Queensland University of Technology and joined the Institute in 2006. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University's ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, and a member of the International Consultant Group (Research) in the joint United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Korean Institute of Criminology 'Virtual Forum against Cybercrime' Program.

The AIC's Acting Director, Tony Marks, congratulated Raymond on his scholarship when the 23 recipients were announced in Hobart on 12 March.

'This is welcome recognition of the calibre of the AIC's researchers and their commitment to high-quality, forward-looking research, particularly in new and emerging types of crime,' Mr Marks said.

'Raymond's US studies will complement his research at the Institute in identifying cybercrime risks and the development of responses for law enforcement agencies and policymakers in neutralising those risks and preventing harm to the community. His visit will also help to strengthen ties and develop cooperative arrangements between Australia and its international criminological research partners.'

Drugs and Offending Online data tool

In November 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology launched a new and improved version of the Drugs and Offending online data tool that provides enhanced data analysis capability in an easy-to-navigate user interface.

Developed in conjunction with Space-Time Research, the new online tool is built using data from the AIC's Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program — Australia's only quarterly collection of drug use and criminal offending data from individuals detained by the police.

DUMA has been an ongoing data collection and monitoring program since 1999 and currently operates at eight police stations in seven jurisdictions including New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Data from the program has played a significant role in Australian research regarding the link between drugs and crime and, in particular, research into the causes and consequences of the 'heroin drought' of 2001 (see Figure 1 for an illustration of the significant fall in heroin use in Parramatta).

Committed to improving public dissemination of the DUMA data, the AIC has released the new online data tool for public use through the AIC's website.

With data from 1999–2007 already uploaded, users can access both time-series and cross-sectional data for a range of data items including: test positive and self-reported drug use; most serious offence types; and a range demographic indicators such as gender, age, residential and marital status.

In addition, the tool also allows users to drill further into the DUMA data and perform basic variable-restricted cross-tabulations. To this end, users could generate statistics to answer research questions as specific as 'What proportion of married and single 19 to 24-year-old males in Bankstown, NSW test positive to cannabis, heroin or amphetamines?' (see Figure 2).

Drugs and Offending Online data tool Drugs and Offending Online data tool

Ground-breaking conference on domestic-related homicide

More than 200 delegates attended the AIC's highly successful International Conference on Homicide in Surfers Paradise, from 3–5 December 2008.

Homicide is the most serious criminal offence in every country in the world and this conference highlighted research and practice in the field. The first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the conference attracted much attention and both national and international interest.

A major focus of the conference was domestic-related homicide. In Australia, alongside other countries, this type of homicide is proving the most resistant to prevention efforts. The conference brought together a number of international and national experts with a wealth of practical knowledge and experience on domestic-related homicide.

Keynote speakers included:Homicide conference

  • Professor Rebecca Dobash, University of Manchester
  • Professor Russell Dobash, University of Manchester
  • Dr Carolyn Rebecca Block, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
  • Dr Myrna Dawson, University of Guelph
  • Dr David Martin, Australian National University
  • Dr James Robertson, Australian Federal Police
  • Dr Marieke Liem, Utrecht University
  • The Hon. Dame Dr Carol Kidu, Minister for Social Development, Government of Papua New Guinea
  • Associate Professor Mark Kebbell, Griffith University
  • Carolyn Harris-Johnson, University of Western Australia
  • Heather Nancarrow, Central Queensland University

Participants included law enforcement representatives, academics and students, practitioners working in domestic violence, health and crime prevention and youth services, policy makers and interested members of the general public.

The conference revealed a strong dedication to prevention by police, researchers and practitioners, with many of the presentations focusing on this challenge. A notable shift in practice and thought was demonstrated which is a sign of progress in efforts to prevent and reduce domestic violence. Feedback received from different groups at the conference was positive, in particular from the police.

Participants gained value from the conference through their exposure to the latest research, with the collaborative nature of much of the work presented encouraging many to see the benefits of working with researchers on the topic.

An innovative format was adopted for the conference, which featured panel sessions on topical issues in homicide. Participants at the Homicide in Popular Culture panel included John Silvester, crime reporter for The Age and editor/author of the popular Underbelly series of true crime stories, along with journalist and author Adam Shand and former Queensland radio personality and prolific author Sandy McCutcheon.

Participants in the domestic-related homicide and the criminal justice system panel included Jonty Bush, Homicide Victims Support Group, Qld; Ross Ray QC, President, Law Council of Australia; Paul Rutledge, Deputy Director, Qld Director of Public Prosecutions; and Brian Wilkins, Head of Homicide, Qld Police.

The conference was funded by the Australian Government as part of its 2007 election commitment to reduce violence against women and children.

Each of the plenary speakers' presentations from the conference is on the AIC website, including links to recordings which enable visitors to listen to each talk at www.aic.gov.au/conferences/2008-homicide/presentations.html. A compilation of selected papers and presentations is expected to be published by the Institute later this year.

Coming events at the AIC

Professor Michael Levi

Occasional seminars

7 April 2009 — Canberra

Measuring the harm from serious and organised crimes: some reflections

Visiting Fellow to the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), Professor Michael Levi of Cardiff University, will be conducting a seminar for AIC stakeholders. The seminar will be held from 2–3pm at the Australian Institute of Criminology.

15 April 2009 — Canberra

Police and other law enforcement use of innovative technologies to communicate

How do law enforcement agencies use new technologies, particularly Web 2.0 and beyond to share and develop knowledge with other agencies and the public? What are the opportunities and challenges, particularly in security-conscious workplaces? Frans-Jan Mulschlegel, Project Manager, International Police Expertise Platform, will use his extensive experience in web-based information to explore existing services and future possibilities. From 10.30am – 12.30pm at the Australian Institute of Criminology.

If you are interested in attending either of these presentations, please email aic.events@aic.gov.au for more information.

ConferencesFrans-Jan Mulschlegel

12–13 August 2009 — Sydney

Indigenous young people, crime and justice conference

The Australian Institute of Criminology, in partnership with the NSW Commission for Children and Young People and the NSW Attorney-General's Department, will be hosting a conference on the latest research, practical applications and profiling of best practice in the area of Indigenous young people, crime and justice.

The conference will:

  • Showcase the latest research in the area
  • Highlight case studies of successful practice in Indigenous justice, crime prevention and reduction
  • Profile examples of evidence-based policies and programs
  • Identify gaps in research

For more information on the conference visit www.aic.gov.au/conferences

Recent research publications from the AIC

Facts & Figures

This annual publication provides a statistical overview of the most recent available national information on crime in Australia, and is intended to serve as a ready reference. The publication presents statistics on the numbers and types of recorded crime, their place of occurrence, victim details, responses of criminal justice agencies and government resources to deal with crime and corrections.

AICrime Reduction Matters

2008 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards

The annual Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards were announced in October 2008 by the federal Minister for Home Affairs. The Awards, a joint initiative of the Australian, state, and territory governments recognise outstanding community-based projects that prevent or reduce crime and violence. The winning projects, selected from a field of 67 nominated from around Australia, focused primarily on domestic and family violence, youth, and alcohol-related crime.

The carriage and use of knives by young people

The most common type of weapon category used in violent crime in Australia is that of knives. There has been widespread community concern about the use of knives in crime, and particularly about young people carrying or using knives. This is in part due to media attention on recent violent incidents involving young people and knives. Some states have already reformed weapon laws to outlaw the carriage of knives in public, and there are plans for making further restrictions, including restricting young persons' ability to purchase knives.

Good governance for effective crime prevention

The contemporary approach to the delivery of community crime prevention work is quite a sophisticated activity when viewed from the perspective of modern management practices. Typically, crime prevention programs are built on the idea of collaborative multi-agency action involving a number of different initiatives and participants.

Crime Facts Info

Mental disorders and incarceration history

In the 12 months preceding an ABS survey, the incidence of any mental disorder in individuals who had at some time been incarcerated was greater than in those who had not.

Australian internet security at home

Australians who use computers at home make extensive use of internet security devices, according to the AusCERT home users computer security survey 2008.

Juror understanding of judicial instructions

The overwhelming majority of jurors understand judicial instructions and judges' summing-up of evidence in criminal trials, according to a report by the New South Wales (NSW) Law Reform Commission and the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Transnational Crime Brief

Labour trafficking: key concepts and issues

At the international level, there is no single, clear definition of 'labour trafficking'. Arguably, the expression can be used to describe those forms of trafficking in persons of which the exploitative purpose relates to a person's labour. There are, however, debates over the scope and meaning of these terms. This brief provides an introduction to key terms and notes some of the issues that remain less settled.

Charges and offences of money laundering

There are currently 19 different offences of money laundering available under the Criminal Code, and these can be classified into two types: those linked to the proceeds of crime (funds generated by an illegal activity) and those linked to the instruments of crime (funds used to conduct an illegal activity).

Monitoring Reports

Firearm theft in Australia 2006–07

The National Firearms Theft Monitoring Program (NFTMP) was established at the Australian Institute of Criminology following a recommendation by the (then) Australasian Police Ministers' Council Firearms Policy Working Group for the long-term monitoring of firearm theft. The program is funded by the Australian Government under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for a period of four years, starting 1 July 2006. This report represents the second in the NFTMP-funded series and the third examining annual firearm theft data.

Research and Public Policy Series

Using crime prevention to reduce deliberate bushfires in Australia

Based on previous research undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology it seems that approximately half of all vegetations fires — some 20,000 to 30,000 each year — are deliberately lit, and that arson in all forms costs the Australian community $1.6 billion annually. Although it can be very difficult to identify whether a fire is deliberately lit and even more challenging to identify who is responsible, there are still a range of strategies and interventions that may reduce the likelihood of bushfire arson occurring.

Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice

Adolescence, pornography and harm

The probability that a young person will have exposure to pornography prior to the age of 18 — the legal age in Australia at which it is permissible to view and purchase such materials — is very high. Concern exists, among both parents and policymakers, that widespread, premature exposure to pornography is changing the nature of sexual attitudes, behaviours, and intimate relationships and potentially contributing to sexual violence in society.

Gauging public opinion on sentencing: can asking jurors help?

Using jurors to ascertain public opinion on sentencing has a number of advantages over other methods. Jurors' opinions are based on informed judgements rather than uninformed, intuitive responses and they have detailed knowledge of the offence and a sense of the offender as a real person. Using a sample of jurors from Tasmanian courts, this study examined the utility of using jurors to gauge public opinion on sentencing and as a means of informing the public about crime and sentencing issues.

Adolescent stalking: offence characteristics and effectiveness of intervention orders

To date, research on stalking has focused almost exclusively on adults. This paper examines the nature of stalking among adolescents to determine the characteristics of stalkers and their victims and the utility of intervention orders for managing this behaviour.

Career trajectories of women in policing in Australia

At 30 June 2006, 23 percent of Australian police were women, almost double the percentage in 1996. Despite this change, the issues relevant a decade earlier remain today, namely difficulties in recruitment and deployment and the low representation of women within senior ranks. This paper examines the career paths of one cohort of police sworn in during 1991 in a number of jurisdictions, to examine what differences, if any, exist between the male and female personnel in terms of recruitment, rank attainment, departures and deployment.

How to order AIC publications

All recent publications are available for free download from the AIC website. Or complete a publications order form from www.aic.gov.au/publications/order.html

Online survey on trafficking in personsPeople trafficking online survey

The Australian Institute of Criminology is conducting a national online survey which asks respondents for their understanding of trafficking in persons and seeks to examine attitudes towards related issues.

The survey was piloted in the Australian Capital Territory in December 2008 and will be running nationally throughout April 2009. The questionnaire will be made available in paper form to participants who do not have access to the online version.

The Australian Institute of Criminology received funding from the Australian Government for a four-year program of research on trafficking in persons in 2007. The overarching objective of the program is to contribute to the effectiveness of the Australian and international response to trafficking in persons by conducting research which builds on the existing knowledge base. A component of this work seeks to examine perceptions of key stakeholders and their awareness of trafficking in persons and relevant issues.

Examining the community's understanding of trafficking and expectations of who victims are believed to be are valuable for informing policy and practice in the area. This information is important for two reasons: members of the community are more likely than the authorities to come into contact with trafficked persons and the juries before which such cases are likely to be tried are also drawn from the wider community. Such information can shape future awareness raising activities and shed light on issues which can have a significant impact on trial outcomes.

The survey can be accessed online from the AIC website.

The AIC JV Barry Libraryjvbarry library

Australia's pre-eminent crime and criminal justice library service, the Institute's library has been an important contributor to Australian criminology and the Australian library sector since its establishment with the Institute in the mid 1970s.

The library is named for Sir John (Jack) Barry, one of the founders of the study of criminology in Australia and a strong supporter for the establishment of the Institute.

The library's primary purpose is to support AIC researchers, by keeping them up to date with the knowledge in their fields of work and interest and in finding and selecting information as they conduct in-depth research. Researchers comment that the library saves them substantial time they would need to find material themselves — a critical difference when deadlines are tight.

Since its inception, the library has identified new material in Australian criminology and recorded the details in CINCH, the Australian criminology bibliographic database. With professional subject indexing and abstracts, the database is a primary source of information for students and practitioners throughout the world. It has been a part of the Informit family of online databases for more than 20 years.

Like most libraries, the JV Barry Library has been changing the focus of its collection in recent years. Although print material is still important, the bulk of new additions to the library database are in digital formats. The transitory nature of much web-based material, particularly government reports, brings with it a new set of challenges, but the library hopes to provide a relatively stable resource base into the future.

The library's database provides most of the resources in the database of the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, a web-based resource of research-based information for Indigenous policy, projects and practice. Library staff monitor new resources from many sources for information to add to the Clearinghouse. The Institute maintains this website in collaboration with the NSW Attorney General's Department.

The library provides a range of services to Institute staff, from subscriptions to key journals and databases, finding and evaluating the resources they require and specific research and reference assistance. It also is an active participant in the national interlibrary loans system, where it has always lent or supplied around three times as much as it has requested.

One of the services to AIC researchers is now available to external researchers, policymakers and practitioners. Each month, a list of recent publications and websites in a variety of subject areas is added to the AIC website. Alerts are sent out, either by RSS feed set up from the website, or by email. The subjects covered are Alcohol and violence; Crime prevention; Cybercrime; Drugs; Evaluation; Financial crime; Homicide; Indigenous justice; Juvenile justice; People trafficking; Recidivism; and Sexual assault. To be added to the mailing lists for any of these, contact front.desk@aic.gov.au noting which of the alerts are required.