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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3263

Mr Viner -On 11 October 1979 (Hansard, page 1905) Mr Jacobi asked me as Minister representing the Attorney-General the following question without notice:

The Minister representing the Attorney-General would have noted the recent speech of the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police on the inadequacy of the present criminal law enforcement system in Australia. Is the Minister aware of the alarming increase in organised and serious crime in Australia and the international problems caused by overseas organised crime operating in this country and Australian organised crime operating overseas? Will the Minister give urgent consideration to the establishment of a national crime commission to monitor crime on a national level and to provide advice to governments about measures to overcome the problem and the resources needed to do that? Will he raise this suggestion at the next meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General?

At the time the honourable member asked the question I made some general observations on the matter and indicated that I would refer to the Attorney-General, amongst other things, the question whether the Australian Institute of Criminology might fulfil a role in this area.

The Attorney-General has now provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

In addition to the initiatives referred to in the answer I gave to a question without notice asked by Senator Puplick on 19 September 1979 (Hansard, pages 782-3), I am informed that the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police recently announced that he and the Commissioners of the State and Northern Territory Police Forces had agreed to the establishment in Canberra of a national crime intelligence bureau. The Commissioner said that the bureau would handle the collection, analysis and dissemination of information on criminal activity in Australia. While the Institute of Criminology will, upon request, be able to give assistance to the bureau in certain areas, I do not feel that it would be appropriate, having regard to the functions of the Institute, for the Institute to become involved in a detailed manner in the type of activity to be undertaken by the bureau.

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