Commission identifies strategies to fight organised crime

The Victorian Law Reform Commission’s report on how effective regulation can prevent organised crime from infiltrating industries and occupations was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 25 May 2016.

The report, The Use of Regulatory Regimes in Preventing the Infiltration of Organised Crime, covers a wide range of schemes such as licensing, audits, inspections, and various restrictions. The Commission was not asked to focus on specific industries, but to provide general guidance for application to any industry. The terms of reference were preventative. They were not directed at the investigation, prosecution or punishment of current or past criminal activity.

The Commission was not asked to recommend changes to the law. Instead the Commission has identified four main strategies to prevent infiltration by organised crime:

1.Assessing the existing regime. Does this industry already have a regulatory regime, and if so, is it working and being enforced?

2.Restricting entry through a licensing scheme. An effective scheme will allow the right people into an industry, while keeping the wrong people out. Licensing is not always an appropriate response, and may be resource-intensive. 

3.Regulating post-entry behaviour. This includes audits, inspections, and surveillance techniques, ‘know your customer’ schemes, and restrictions on cash-based transactions.  

4.Addressing the use of professional facilitators: Assistance for organised crime can be provided wittingly or unwittingly by professionals such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents. The Commission suggests customer due diligence measures, professional education and liability measures to address this risk.

The Commission consulted with Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission, the anti-money laundering agency AUSTRAC, major regulatory agencies from various industries, and industry representatives from many industries including the tattoo, waste management, private security, debt collection and scrap metal industries. 

Chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, the Hon. Philip Cummins AM, said “When it comes to regulating industries to prevent infiltration, one size does not fit all. We have provided general advice that can be applied to a range of industries and occupations, and tailored according to need. We have also been conscious of the need to be effective, while not imposing an excessive regulatory burden on business.”

For more information or an interview with the Hon. Philip Cummins AM please contact: Nick Gadd, Communications Manager, Tel: 03 8608 7824 Mob: 0425 862 119.

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