The Australian Institute of Criminology has recently released a paper that explores the type of criminal activity that occurs in marine environments, with a focus on the Great Barrier Reef. The marine environment attracts wide ranging opportunities for illegal activity. These arise from: the availability of natural resources; the availability of illegal drugs for importation; the availability of people wishing to come to Australia and an increase in non-compliance with the introduction of new regulations. Factors that are likely to motivate people to commit crimes in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) include: large financial rewards; increased profit from failing to comply with environmental regulations; failure to accept the legitimacy of regulations; lack of knowledge of regulations; lack of understanding of the impact of illegal activities; and the inability to afford the costs of compliance. Situational crime prevention strategies are one option in reducing crime in the GBRMP. Situational crime prevention falls into three main areas: increasing the effort, increasing the risks and reducing the rewards. The chart below outlines ways in which situational crime prevention strategies can be applied to the marine environment.
- Smith R G & Anderson K 2004. Understanding non-compliance in the marine environment. Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 275 Australian Institute of Criminology Canberra