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Feature: Organised Crime Research Forum

In 2019 the AIC and the Australian National University co-hosted the Organised Crime Research Forum. The forum has been held annually since 2016 and its aim is to build research capacity in the field of organised crime. The 2019 forum was held in Canberra on 30 and 31 May. It brought together 120 policymakers, law enforcement professionals and academics from around the country to discuss the latest developments in organised crime research.

Speakers at the 2019 forum examined various topics relating to criminal gangs and networks, trafficking, and illicit drugs on the darknet:

  • recruitment into organised crime groups;
  • the criminal careers of mafia members and bosses;
  • disaffiliation from criminal gangs;
  • organised crime in rural and remote communities;
  • female organised crime offenders;
  • the international expansion of outlaw motorcycle gangs;
  • the availability of synthetic opioids and novel psychoactive substances on the darknet;
  • the effect of law enforcement pressure on illegal cryptomarkets;
  • how drug users and traffickers adapt to changes in the market;
  • trafficking of steroids;
  • the relationship between the price and purity of drugs and the harm they cause;
  • a program in which police officers teach hotel owners to recognise and report drug dealing;
  • the threat of extremists in cyberspace and the effect they can have on society; and
  • wildlife trafficking.

The list of speakers included three AIC researchers. Research Manager Anthony Morgan examined changes in the prevalence and seriousness of offending by outlaw motorcycle gangs. Principal Research Analyst Dr Christopher Dowling analysed the mobility of outlaw motorcycle gangs and gang members. Lastly, Senior Research Analyst Isabella Voce discussed a method of identifying prolific, high-risk and violent organised crime offenders.