18 July 2014
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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Section
This Quick Guide provides key internet links to websites with information on crime and law enforcement arrangements and issues.
- Attorney-General’s Department—the lead Commonwealth agency for criminal law, law enforcement policy, crime prevention and anti-corruption. Key pages include:
– crime and corruption—overview and links to more specific information including legislation and policy on organised crime, money laundering, people smuggling, human trafficking, cybercrime, foreign bribery, anti-corruption, illicit drugs and federal offenders
– crime prevention—information on the government’s crime prevention initiatives, including grants programs and
– international crime cooperation arrangements—information on extradition, mutual assistance and international transfer of prisoners processes and arrangements with other countries.
- Australian Federal Police (AFP)—responsible for preventing, disrupting and investigating Commonwealth offences and state offences that have a federal aspect, contributing to combating organised crime and safeguarding Australia’s interests from criminal activity in Australia and overseas.
- Australian Crime Commission (ACC)—Australia’s national criminal intelligence agency, with a specific focus on understanding and combating serious and organised crime of national significance. The ACC gathers and shares criminal intelligence and leads or participates in joint investigations and intelligence operations. While some of the ACC’s intelligence products are classified, it also produces a range of publicly available material, including the annual Illicit Drugs Data Reports, the biennial Organised Crime in Australia Reports and the Crime Profile Fact Sheets.
- Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs)—responsible for managing the security and integrity of Australia’s borders, including law enforcement functions relating to prohibited imports such as illicit drugs and firearms. Customs is part of the multi-agency taskforce Border Protection Command and leads the Detection, Interception and Transfer Task Group of the Joint Agency Task Force established to support Operation Sovereign Borders.
- CrimTrac—a joint venture between Commonwealth, state and territory governments to bring together and provide shared access to a range of law enforcement data and information. It provides a range of services including police checks.
- Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)—Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator and specialist financial intelligence unit. Key publications include the AUSTRAC Regulatory Guide and annual typologies and case studies reports.
- Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI)—responsible for preventing, detecting, investigating and reporting on corrupt conduct and systemic corruption in Commonwealth law enforcement agencies. As at December 2013, the AFP, ACC, Customs, AUSTRAC, CrimTrac and certain officers in the Department of Agriculture were under ACLEI’s jurisdiction. ACLEI publishes investigation and other reports on its website.
- Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions—an independent service established to prosecute Commonwealth criminal offences. The Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth is available on the website, as are case reports, prosecution statistics and information for victims and witnesses.
- Australian Institute of Criminology—undertakes and disseminates crime and criminal justice research through publications, events such as seminars and workshops, and information services such as research alerts and its library. It also administers the Criminology Research Grants program.
Parliamentary and other oversight bodies
- Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement—monitors, reviews and reports on the performance of the AFP and ACC, matters relevant to the functions of those agencies and trends and changes in criminal activities, practices and methods; oversees the operation of the unexplained wealth provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
- Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity—monitors, reviews and reports on the performance of ACLEI, matters relevant to the functions of the agency and corruption and integrity trends and changes relevant to Commonwealth law enforcement agencies.
- Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs—oversees the Attorney-General’s and Immigration and Border Protection portfolios, including through Senate Estimates and inquiries into Bills and matters relevant to those portfolios.
- Commonwealth Ombudsman—has statutory responsibility for inspecting and reporting on law enforcement agencies’ records relating to the exercise of powers under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979, Crimes Act 1914 and Surveillance Devices Act 2004 and, under the Australian Federal Police Act 1979, AFP records relating to conduct and practice issues. Most of these reports are published on the website.
- Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC)—comprised of up to two ministers each from the Commonwealth, each state and territory and New Zealand with portfolio responsibility for law and justice, police and emergency management. LCCSC’s broad themes are law enforcement and crime reduction, law reform and emergency management. It meets twice each year. The website includes information about current priorities, communiques from meetings, projects, and publications. The LCCSC replaced the Standing Council on Law and Justice (SCLJ) and the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management (SCPEM) following a December 2013 decision to streamline the Council of Australian Governments’ council system. The archive page of the website provides links to information relating to the two former Standing Councils.
State and territory police services
State and territory justice departments
Select operational and research organisations
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)—the United Nations agency mandated to help member states to respond to illicit drugs, transnational crime and terrorism through research and analytical work and technical and capacity building assistance. The UNODC is responsible for several treaties, produces a range of publications examining issues at the country, regional and international levels and provides a range of other publicly accessible resources. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice are governing bodies of the UNODC.
- Interpol—an international policing organisation that aims to foster better international cooperation on transnational crime by providing technical and operational support and training. It produces a range of publications and information on crime types.
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service—a United States-based resource funded by the Federal Government to provide crime, justice and drug-related information to support research, policy and program development. The site includes publications from the Office of Justice Programs and a database of criminal justice abstracts, as well as information by topic.
- Brookings Institution—a United States-based non-profit public policy organisation. It produces a range of publications that can be viewed by topic, with the ‘law and justice’ page the most relevant for crime and law enforcement issues.
- European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)—established to provide the European Union and member states with data and evidence to inform law and strategy on drugs, drug addiction and their consequences. Publications can be viewed by date, type or topic, and the website also includes statistics and country information.
- Europol—the European Union’s law enforcement agency assists law enforcement agencies in member states by providing intelligence, analysis and operational support. It also has several operational and strategic agreements with non-EU countries (including Australia). Publications include EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Reports, Organised Crime Threat Assessments, policy briefs and early warning notifications.
- Police Foundation—a United Kingdom-based think tank focused on policing and crime reduction that produces a range of publications.
For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.
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