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Law enforcement at the border: a changing paradigm
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posted on 16.02.2017by Shallies, Bradley
The research presented in this paper is based essentially around three identified research questions: What is influencing the changing understanding of organised crime? How is organised crime represented in major Commonwealth Government committee reports and policy frameworks? How are cross-agency partnerships conceptualised and translated into the Australian government's responses and actions to organised crime in Australia? In addressing the theme of these questions, the research presents as separate components elements of the issues, all however interconnected to establish that there is a vastly changed understanding of organised crime. Within this understanding however remains a significant degree of complexity in regard to what is considered to be a viable and enduring definition of organised crime. This complexity is well illustrated in the literature synthesis. It is through the prism of changed and changing understanding that the law enforcement response to serious and organised crime is being designed and implemented. The contemporary understanding actually challenges the need or desirability for a structured definition to which everyone collectively subscribes. In fact it is more about an acceptance that there is an upper echelon of serious and organised criminality which has significant social and economic impacts and hence that the response, cognisant of that understanding, needs to change. Chapters Five, Six and Seven take the reader on a journey through the aspects that have shaped the contemporary Australian understanding and ultimately how that understanding has been applied through Task Force Polaris. This task force relates to, as does some of the preceding discussion, serious and organised crime back in the border domain, which is of heightened interest to the Commonwealth agencies. How the theory regarding partnership work as illustrated in Chapter Six is validated through the response modelling as illustrated in Chapter Seven is particularly interesting. The interviews conducted with law enforcement officials are woven through a number of the chapters where the responses best add value to the themes being examined. The responses clearly indicated an awareness of the changed understanding of serious and organised crime but a heightened awareness of the Government policy overlay and how that policy direction was being realised through the response.