The Beat, CT Scan and Checkpoint


The Beat

Inside the Yakuza

We recently discussed how divisions within the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal group sparked fears of gang violence in Japan. After months of negotiation, Belgian photographer Anton Kusters gained a rare insight into the Yakuza by documenting the life one family involved in the group for two years; a unique occurrence as they rarely appear in the public eye. Kusters’ haunting photos indicate a strong hierarchy and sense of belonging, common to traditional organised criminal groups like the Yakuza.

Ethics of facial recognition

Last week we mentioned the National Facial Biometric Matching Capability, announced as part of the government’s strategy to counter identity crime. The ANU National Security College’s Adam Henschke criticized the technology this week, claiming that false negatives caused by a false sense of security and effective oversight are concerns that must be addressed.

Up to date with paw enforcement

Regular readers will know of The Beat’s support for our canine colleagues in law enforcement. So we’ve placed our orders for the 2016 Queensland Police Dog Squad calendar which can be purchased here. Funds from calendar sales go to the Animal Welfare League of Queensland, Police Legacy and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Perhaps most deserving of a calendar is nine-year-old Ethan Flint, who donated US$1,200 of his birthday money and funds raised through social media to the St. Paul Police K9 Foundation to purchase bullet proof vests for police dogs.


CT Scan

Taking a look at ISIS defectors

New research examines growing disillusionment among the ranks of ISIS fighters. A number of ISIS defectors, sick of the group’s brutality and lack of luxury, spoke to researchers from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation about their experiences as ISIS fighters and the reasons why they left. The report reveals a range of dissatisfactions among the ISIS ranks, from concerns about the group’s brutality, disillusionment with the group’s strategy and aims, the banality of their work and corruption within the ranks.

Does CVE even work?

Readers interested in countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts should take a look at a new report released from the Global Center on Cooperative Security. The report, Does CVE Work? Lessons Learned From the Global Effort to Counter Violent Extremism, provides an interesting primer on CVE and reviews the research and analysis around past and current CVE efforts and initiatives.

The New Red Terror?

A British man dubbed the ‘Ginger extremist’ has been convicted of plotting an attack to kill Prince Charles. The accused, Mark Colborne, is reported to have felt marginalised due to his red hair and wanted to pave the way for the ginger-haired Prince Harry to assume the British throne.



EU refugee crisis worsens

Over 450,000 refugees have entered the EU by sea this year, and nearly 3,000 have died or gone missing. A recently-published map shows the routes that refugees have been taking, and how they’re becoming increasingly treacherous. Central Europe in particular has become a hotspot due to the chaotic series of border confrontations and diplomatic disputes over the weekend. Indications that Europe is dividing over how best to cope with the crisis increases the pressure on EU nations to find a coherent policy option. The UN has warned that failure to agree on a united response endangered the concept of European unity as EU leaders plan for a refugee summit this week.

Hillary Clinton to tackle Mexican heroin problem

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said last week that she would take the fight against heroin across US borders to Mexico, one of the US’ largest heroin suppliers. Although the methods by which Clinton’s bold claim will be realised remain to be seen, the US’ current struggle with its heroin epidemic urges for a more comprehensive strategy.

The border fact

120,000 migrants will be resettled in the EU. The resettlement scheme will move 66,000 asylum seekers from Greece and 54,000 from Italy in a year’s time.