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Police chiefs look to the future.

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Monday 13 March 2000

Police Chiefs look to the future The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today officially opened the annual Police Commissioners conference welcoming to the national capital Police Commissioners from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and all Australian jurisdictions.

The Conference is being hosted by the Australian Federal Police.

The theme for this year’s conference is crime @ the speed of thought. The conference will explore the rapid pace of information technology and the potential this has to alter the landscape in which police agencies operate.

Senator Vanstone welcomed the cooperative approach being fostered by Commissioners in what is becoming an increasingly global criminal environment.

"We are seeing unprecedented levels of cooperation and assistance across all jurisdictions particularly in areas such as drugs and money laundering.

"In today’s world criminals ignore state, territory and even national boundaries and take advantage of jurisdictional limitations. The challenge facing law enforcement is to respond to the challenges posed by this environment.

"Law enforcement agencies are experiencing crimes that were not even thought of ten years ago and criminal enterprises, in the same way as legitimate business enterprises, are making the most of new technologies.

"A whole new language has developed around such things as e-commerce and the virtual office and law enforcement, to remain effective and relevant, must keep abreast of these developments.

Senator Vanstone also took the opportunity to thank Commissioners from those jurisdictions who had committed personnel to East Timor.

"Up until the end of 1999, the Australian Federal Police had sole responsibility for an Australian policing presence in East Timor," Senator Vanstone said.

"I would like to put on record today the Australian Government’s appreciation to those Commissioners who have now provided the additional 28 personnel to join AFP members serving in East Timor.

"It is gratifying to me personally and as a Government representative to see the overwhelming cooperation between Australian police jurisdictions during this time of turmoil for East Timor."