National Indigenous Violence and Child Abuse Intelligence Task Force proposal

The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, have welcomed a proposal that will see the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) lead a joint agency intelligence task force to address violence and child abuse in Indigenous communities.

Inter-governmental Summit on Violence and Child Abuse in Indigenous communities

The ACC-led National Indigenous Violence and Child Abuse Intelligence Task Force will be resourced by the Commonwealth, states and territories and will see involvement from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), state and territory police forces and other agencies.

“The agreement follows the presentation of a $130 million package to the Inter-governmental Summit on Violence and Child Abuse in Indigenous communities,” Mr Brough said.

Senator Ellison said the ACC Board has agreed to the creation of a new ACC-led task force, which will collect, analyse and disseminate intelligence to Commonwealth, state and territory law enforcement agencies. Senator Ellison said: “It will provide a whole of government response to address violence and child abuse in Indigenous communities and monitor organised criminal activity relating to drugs, alcohol, pornography and fraud".

ACC's coercive powers may be usedSenator Ellison said the task force may also use the ACC’s coercive powers under the ACC Board’s current authorisations and determinations in relation to Amphetamines and Other Synthetic Drugs (AOSD), High Risk Crime Groups (HRCG), Serious and Organised Fraud (SOF), and Illicit Firearms Markets.

Mr Brough said the intelligence unit will be a key component of the comprehensive package agreed today by state and territory governments at COAG to restore law and order on Indigenous communities and to protect woman and children from violence and abuse.

Task Force objectives

The objectives of the National Indigenous Violence and Child Abuse Intelligence Task Force include:

- Improving the national coordination of the collection and sharing of information and intelligence on violence and child abuse in remote and urban Indigenous communities.
- Enhancing the national understanding of the nature and extent of violence and child abuse in remote and urban Indigenous communities.
- Providing intelligence and other advice to relevant Commonwealth, state and territory organisations on violence and child abuse in remote and urban Indigenous communities, including organised criminal involvement in drugs, alcohol, pornography and fraud.
- Conducting research into the impact of improved intelligence and information coordination and into the identification of good practice in the prevention, detection and responses to violence and child abuse in Indigenous communities.

The task force, consisting of at least 35 people, will comprise experienced personnel from the ACC, the AFP and every State and Territory Police Force, and the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Vital ACC role recognised

Senator Ellison said the creation of the new joint agency task force, recognised the vital role the ACC plays in enhancing the national understanding of the nature and extent of criminal activity.

“Safety should be a fundamental right for all Australian citizens. This measure will help to encourage witnesses to come forward and to ensure perpetrators are brought to account,” Mr Brough said.
18 July, 2006

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