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Witness Protection Programs in Selected Countries

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Witness Protection Programs in Selected Countries (PDF)
Source: Public Safety Canada

Effective witness protection is a cornerstone of the criminal justice system in the fight against organized crime. Traditional witness protection focuses on the safety of the witness. Experience shows, however, that individuals are not willing unless they have confidence that the State will protect their rights and safety as well as those of their immediate family.

Witness protection programs serve many purposes. They provide opportunities for victims and witnesses to participate in a criminal process with the expectation that they and their families will not be put in danger. They offer the hope of accountability and give threatened witnesses a way to seek shelter from the scene of victimization. Witness protection provides a space in which individual traumas may be treated and enables a victim/witness to regain more control over their life. It can also lead to a serious disruption of the lifestyle of the witness and any persons accompanying them into the program. It may even have implications for third parties. For these reasons, witness protection programs must have a good foundation in legislation or policy.

This paper reviews the practices and outcomes of witness protection programs using open source literature on the legislation and practices followed in Australia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) and compares them with both federal and provincial programs in Canada.

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Australian crime: Facts & figures: 2013

September 24, 2014 Comments off

Australian crime: Facts & figures: 2013
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

Australian Crime: Facts & Figures uses information compiled from a broad range of sources to create an accurate and holistic picture of crime and criminal justice issues in Australia. Within this volume are the patterns and trends relating to specific crimes, victims, offenders, the location of criminal acts and the operation and cost of the criminal justice system (including the police, courts and prisons).

AU — Risky facilities: Analysis of crime concentration in high-rise buildings

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Risky facilities: Analysis of crime concentration in high-rise buildings
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

Current town planning and housing policies suggest that in the very near future, housing density in major Australian cities will be much higher than current levels. To date, little attention has been paid to how these policy shifts will impact levels of crime and fear of crime. The aim of this research is to contribute to the development of strategic policy for the secure management of high-density housing. By analysing actual rates and types of crime, guardianship levels, building management styles and perceptions of fear of crime, the research will reveal how planning policies and high-rise building management styles can coalesce to create safer vertical communities. The research focuses on high-rise apartments and touristic buildings on the Gold Coast (specifically Surfers Paradise) and identifies the disproportionate concentration of crimes among a handful of buildings. Results may help state and local governments in Australia to avoid repeating the housing policy mistakes experienced by other countries.

AU – Male victims of non-sexual and non-domestic violence: Service needs and experiences in court

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Male victims of non-sexual and non-domestic violence: Service needs and experiences in court (PDF)
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

While a great deal of research has been undertaken into female victims of violence, male-focused victimology research undertaken in Australia and internationally is scant. This means it is currently unclear what the support needs of male victims are and if these support needs are being met by the currently available services and programs.

The findings of this report derive from a study commissioned by the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice Victims Services that sought to address this knowledge gap by exploring the experiences and support needs of male victims of violence (excluding sexual assault and domestic violence) living in New South Wales.

The study involved a comprehensive review of the currently available literature and interviews and focus groups with criminal justice and support service representatives who have contact with male victims of violence as part of their everyday work.

AU — Effective drink driving prevention and enforcement strategies: Approaches to improving practice

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Effective drink driving prevention and enforcement strategies: Approaches to improving practice
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

Although Australia has achieved significant reductions in drink driving since the 1980s, it continues to be a leading cause of road fatalities and injuries. A range of countermeasures have been used to address drink driving, although their effectiveness can be affected by a range of implementation issues.

Through a review of Australian and international literature, this paper outlines principles of effective drink driving countermeasures. It presents guidelines for the effective enforcement and prevention of drink driving through random breath testing, publicity campaigns, penalties and targeted interventions.

The evidence outlined in this paper highlights the importance of implementing effective countermeasures for different populations. Among the general population, personal contact with random breath testing has the strongest deterrent impact on drink driving. Also, targeted interventions that identify the underlying causes of offending are crucial in addressing recidivist drink drivers; a group that contributes disproportionately to road trauma. Strategies that effectively decrease drink driving are vital in the ongoing effort to improve road safety in Australia.

Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2014

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2014
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

This issue of Gender Indicators, Australia, includes new data on a range of indicators of social interest to men and women. The Economic security, Education, Health, Safety and justice, and Democracy, governance and citizenship domains have been updated with data that has become available since the product was last released in February 2014.

  • Unpublished 2013-14 data from the ABS Labour Force Survey and 2013 data from the Forms of Employment Survey (FoES) have been used to update 14 tables in the Economic security domain, including labour force participation rate, average hours worked per week and the proportion of employees without paid leave entitlements.
  • Six tables in the Education domain have been updated with data from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS), 2012-13; ABS Schools, Australia, 2013; and Graduate Careers Australia, ‘Graduate Salaries’, Melbourne 2014 (GradStats). Tables updated include attainment of Year 12 or a formal qualification at Certificate II or above, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and median starting salary of Bachelor Degree graduates.
  • The Health domain has been updated to include data from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS), 2012-13, and Causes of Death, Australia, 2012. Tables updated include long-term health conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and leading causes of death.
  • Unpublished data from the ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2012-13; Recorded Crime – Victims, Australia, 2013; and Recorded Crime – Offenders, Australia, 2012-13, has been used to update five tables in the Safety and Justice domain including victims and victimisation rates for robbery by age, recorded victims and victimisation rates by selected offences, and offender rates by age and by principal offence.
  • The Democracy, governance and citizenship domain has been updated with unpublished data from the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat. Tables updated include Judges and magistrates (High Court, Federal Court, Family Court, Federal Magistrates Service) and State Supreme Court judges, and Recipients and nominations considered for the Order of Australia, General Division, by category.

The ‘Living with a Disability’ commentary has also been updated with data from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0).

Country Analysis Brief: Australia

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Australia
Source: Energy Information Administration

Australia is rich in commodities, including fossil fuel and uranium reserves. It is one of the few countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that is a significant net energy exporter, sending nearly 70% of its total energy production (excluding energy imports) overseas, according to data from Australia’s Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE).

Except for crude oil and other liquids, Australia retains a surplus of all other energy commodities. Australia was the world’s second-largest coal exporter based on weight in 2012 and the third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2013. Energy exports accounted for 24% of Australia’s total export revenues in 2012, according to BREE. The country holds the world’s largest recoverable reserves of uranium (about 32%, based on 2012 data) and is the third-largest producer and exporter of uranium for nuclear-powered electricity, according to the World Nuclear Association. Australia is a net importer of crude oil and refined petroleum products, although the country exports some petroleum liquids.

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