Labor Takes Action To Prevent Organised Crime

The Andrews Labor Government will pilot a new approach to prevent organised crime infiltrating a range of legitimate occupations and industries.

A recent report by the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) is assisting government in designing new ways to assess and respond to the risks organised crime present to businesses.

Stakeholders consulted during the VLRC’s review suggested a range of industries that may be vulnerable to infiltration by organised crime, including private security, debt collection, trucking, tattooing and professional sports.

The VLRC has identified strategies to reduce the risk of organised crime infiltrating industries, including:

  • implementing restrictions on entry, with the report outlining factors that might be considered in deciding whether licensing is appropriate
  • regulating industry behaviour, including through restrictions on cash-based transactions
  • addressing the use of professionals, such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents

The VLRC’s findings will help Consumer Affairs Victoria, Victoria Police and other agencies work together to develop guidelines to assess the risks of organised crime infiltration in legal industries.

The guidelines will be tested with a pilot project in the auto wrecking and scrap metal industries.

Victoria Police has previously expressed concern with the potential for criminal activity in the scrap metal industry, such as stolen older model cars being sold for scrap to unlicensed dealers.

The next step for the Government is to develop the risk assessment guidelines, with the pilot project likely to launch in July this year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Jane Garrett

“We are taking these steps to prevent legitimate industries being corrupted by criminal activity.”

“Consumer Affairs Victoria will work with Victoria Police and other agencies by sharing information and collaborating to get the best outcome possible.”

“The risk assessment guidelines will be an important tool for regulators, and we are making sure we get it right by putting them to the test on the auto-wrecking and scrap metal industries.”

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