According to the Australian Crime Commission, serious and organised crime is estimated to cost Australia $10 to $15 million dollars every year. With organised crime frequently crossing borders there are many law enforcement agencies collecting intelligence on their activities.
Queensland police will now be able to use criminal intelligence obtained from other law informant agencies in a bid to outlaw criminal organisations under legislation introduced to Parliament in October. Technical amendments have been made to the Criminal Organisation Act 2009 which will enable the Police to restrict and severely hamper the activities of organisations involved in serious criminal activity.
The amendments will allow intelligence to be put before the courts without the informant being identified or criminal history being provided, which in some cases, might put the informant at risk from others in the criminal community.
Combatting crime is a priority for the Federal Government who believe all Australians should feel safe in their community. For many, feeling safe at home is the key to independence and a good quality of life for older people as well as others who may be vulnerable to crime.
Set up in 1983 to encourage communities to work together to reduce crime, Neighbourhood Watch is Australia’s largest community based crime prevention program covering over three million homes in Australia.
Additional funding from the Federal Government of $1.5 million has just been announced for expansion of its work enabling it to expand its coverage to even more homes and communities, including remote areas.
Over the next three years this funding will allow Neighbourhood Watch to expand its efforts with the creation of a national office with full time staff to support the efforts of people in local communities who volunteer their help.
Events grants will be offered to increase engagement with local communities, build partnerships with police and local government and help protect remote, hard to reach and vulnerable communities.
The funding for Neighbourhood Watch comes under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, a non-recurrent grant scheme which enables money from proceeds of crime confiscated under Commonwealth law to be returned to the community.