To help prevent organised crime, you can keep alert to what is going on around you at home, at work and in your neighbourhood.
Look out for:
- Numerous people and vehicles briefly visiting an address within a few hours, particularly at unusual times of the day or late at night.
- Significant and unexplained wealth that does not appear consistent with someone’s income which may indicate a person or group is supporting a flamboyant lifestyle from organised crime.
- Unusual or excessive fortification of premises, expensive alarm systems and surveillance cameras which could be indicators of criminal activity related to organised crime.
- The regular exchange of valuable items or cash which may be payment for drugs or a drug debt.
Organised crime is when two or more people work together to commit a crime in order to profit.
This type of crime includes illegal drug manufacturing, trafficking and distribution, extortion, fraud, money laundering, sexual exploitation and the use of violence.
Both outlaw motorcycle gangs and other gangs fit into the category of organised crime.
A person who participates in or contributes to any activity of a declared criminal organisation under the Criminal Organisations Control Act 2012 may be imprisoned for 5 years. They can also be automatically jailed for 2 years (without a trial).
Outlaw motorcycle gangs
Outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) remain one of the most high-profile examples of organised crime.
Some members of OMCGs are responsible for serious crimes and form part of organised crime networks, especially the illicit drug market, vehicle rebirthing and firearms trafficking.
Most members of OMCG chapters don’t engage in organised crime as a group. Instead, small numbers of members plot with other criminals to commit acts that range from social nuisance in residential communities through to their involvement in some of the most significant criminal syndicates in Australia.
Some OMCG members have expanded their activities to become involved in serious fraud, money laundering, extortion, prostitution and property crime, as well as bribing and corrupting officials.
Some members of OMCGs may own or have interests in seemingly legitimate businesses that are actually used to cover organised crime activities.
OMCGs may provide their ‘expertise’ or ‘services’ to traditional organised crime groups to facilitate a crime, including debt collection, extortion, blackmail, intimidation and violence.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately criminals are exploiting the crisis and profiting from it. This extract from Europol’s March 2020 report shows how criminals are adapting their activities relating to organised property crime during the COVID-19 pandemic.