NATION Plan to tackle crime’s source
MORE Australian Federal Police would be stationed offshore at key hot spots to tackle terror, cyber crime and drugs at its source, under enforcement plans being developed by government strategists.
Senior police and Federal Government sources have said there is a push for the AFP to hit transnational crime at the source and tackle the flow of drugs, criminal cartels and terror networks upstream before it reaches Australia.
As the Home Affairs department is developed, questions are being asked about what Australian policing and intelligence agencies need to do strategically to get ahead.
Discussions have included examining the AFP’s resources to make sure they hit the cartels offshore before dangerous drugs reach our shores, while targeting terror networks and other trans- national syndicates.
The AFP is understood to have firmly resisted any move to refocus its efforts, arguing it already has a significant portion of its personnel based offshore – and that taking a greater global focus would endanger officers’ lives.
The AFP also objected to the creation of Home Affairs, announced last week.
While the AFP already has offshore officers and bases, sources said Australia was fighting a losing battle if we kept our focus primarily on the home front without escalating efforts to tackle terror and criminal networks offshore.
There is no criticism of AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin but there are calls to return the AFP to its operational might under former Commissioner Mick Keelty.
During the 2000s the AFP followed the FBI model which operates “across the globe to protect the US from terrorism, espionage, cyber attacks and major criminal threats”.
But the rise of counter- terrorism derailed that model with the focus and new resources directed towards fighting local terrorist threats.
In the meantime, powerful transnational criminal cartels have taken their enterprise to a sophisticated new level.
Alliances have been forged between Chinese triads, eastern European crime gangs and bikies with the cashed- up groups now forming globalised supply chains, laundering money and drugs into Australia. Criminals have also started working with terrorists to crack Australia’s systems.
An increasing number of major NSW crime figures are also moving overseas to run their operations.
“They come under a lot less scrutiny overseas,” a senior police source said.