VICTORIAN AUDITOR-GENERAL CRITICISES CRIMINAL ASSET SEIZURE SCHEME

Thursday September 5 2013

– The scheme confiscating assets from Victorian criminals is operating poorly and hampering efforts to deter criminal activity, state Auditor-General John Doyle has said.
In a report into the asset confiscation scheme tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Doyle said a failure to use investigative tools efficiently had undermined the system, with poor planning and capacity and capability weaknesses creating problems.
Victoria Police and other authorities confiscate the proceeds of crime in part to disrupt illegal behaviour.
“The scheme is not operating as effectively or efficiently as it should,” Mr Doyle said. “Its ability to deprive people of the proceeds of crime, and to deter and disrupt further criminal activity, is hampered by weaknesses in the way that assets are identified for confiscation, and by how the scheme is governed.”
The Auditor-General found the scheme had failed to implement recommendations and commitments made over the past 10 years to improve the scheme’s governance and management. There were “unclear objectives, a lack of planning or effective oversight, a lack of clear accountability and leadership”.
Mr Doyle recommended the Victoria Police Criminal Proceeds Squad refocus investigations on profit-motivated, serious and organised crime.
At present, up to 60% of the squad’s work relates to victims of crime, even though it says its focus is on the “upper echelons of organised crime”.
“While victims’ compensation is a purpose of the act, it is unclear why [the Criminal Proceeds Squad] is performing this function! at least to the current extent. This work is time-intensive and anecdotally results in few victims pursuing the offender in court,” Mr Doyle said. “The focus on this type of work detracts from what CPS should be focusing on – profit-motivated, serious and organised crime.”
Shadow attorney-general Martin Pakula said the Auditor-General had “effectively given the Napthine government a major slap over its failure to make improvements to the scheme”.
“Victoria’s police and prosecutors need support from government if they are to be successful in stripping criminals of their ill-gotten gains, disrupting criminal enterprises and deterring criminal activity,” Mr Pakula said. “The Napthine government’s asset confiscation activities are weak – allowing organised crime figures to hide their assets and profit from other illegal activities.”
The report also called for better risk management and identified that many problems with the scheme were due to the absence of a performance framework.
Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said police had accepted all the recommendations.
– Richard Willingham

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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