The Beat, CT Scan and Checkpoint


The Beat

Unions call for stronger national systems to fight crime

Australia’s police unions have banded together to reiterate their call for all branches of government to deliver stronger national systems to fight crime. In their joint statement, the unions stressed again the importance of three key capability development priorities: a national case management system, a new national criminal intelligence system, and dedicated broadband communications spectrum for public safety agencies.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan was quick to demonstrate the Commonwealth’s commitment to most of these initiatives, outlining action already taken on a national criminal intelligence system and the referral of the broadband spectrum to the Productivity Commission—their draft report was released back in September. The question of a national case management system was deferred though, as ‘there are complex legislative, governance, and information sharing issues that will have to be agreed by states and Commonwealth before any national case management system can be progressed’.

Major shift in international drugs policy or not?

A curious thing happened on the weekend. Businessman Richard Branson posted a copy of a briefing paper by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime that declared personal drug use as ‘permitted by international drug conventions’. The briefing paper went on to say that decriminalising such drug use—including by those who sold drugs to finance a personal habit—was not only permitted under the relevant international treaties but ‘may be required to meet obligations under international human rights law’. According to Vice News, the paper didn’t make it to the conference floor. Neither they nor Mr Branson are sure why.

Crimes against time

Finally, police around Australia were unexpectedly occupied yesterday (October 21, 2015) responding to reports of individuals travelling in a silver Delorean at speeds approaching 88 miles per hour, and disturbing the space-time continuum.


CT Scan

Noise complaints, alcohol & deception: IGIS’ Annual Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security’s Annual Report (PDF) was tabled in parliament last week—and some of its findings have made for interesting headlines. The report’s reveals include ASIS officers being slapped with new gun laws after an booze-fuelled session in Afghanistan, complaints from locals living near ASIO’s Ben Chifley building about the Organisation’s noisy midnight alarms, and ASIS choosing to cooperate with foreign officials over the actions of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria without approval from Minister Bishop.

Anwar al-Awlaki’s transformation

In a recent podcast by Lawfare blog (50 mins), New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane provides an overview of his new book Objective Troy: A Terrorist, A President, and the Rise of the Drone. In the podcast, he discusses how Anwar al-Awlaki, the first US citizen to be targeted by a US government drone, transformed from a  US Islamic thought leader to an AQ recruiter.

Where (CT analysts’) dreams come true

Ever wanted to fight the forces of darkness with a Disney-esque backdrop? Well, now you actually can. The Walt Disney Company is seeking a counterterrorism intern to work at their California headquarters. With its millions of visitors per year, this isn’t the theme park’s first foray into security; in 2003, after the company’s large financial contributions to the war in Iraq, no-fly zones were imposed over Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida.



The Australian Border Force getting the job done

This week the Australian Border Force . There were more than 32,800 drug detections, which amounted to over 630 seizures on average each week at the nation’s airports, seaports and mail centres. Of these, detections of major illicit drugs and precursors represented a total weight of over 7.3 tonnes.

Illegal migration and Turkey’s final speed bump in EU membership bid

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, during her visit aimed at securing Ankara’s help to stem the migrant crisis, said that the EU and Turkey will work together to tackle illegal migration. However, this piece on The Independent suggests it’s not the EU’s plans that concern people smugglers, rather the beginning of winter weather. From migrants’ perspectives, this New York Times article explains why winter will also pose new dangers for them Head over to Brookings for a piece on the new Turkey–EU cooperation.