Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

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Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
Statutory authority overview
Formed July 1, 2016 (2016-07-01)
Superseding agency
Type Law enforcement
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Minister responsible
Statutory authority executive
  • Chris Dawson, Chief Executive Officer
Parent department Attorney-General's Department
Website www.acic.gov.au

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), (formerly Australian Crime Commission and the CrimTrac Agency) is an Australian Government national criminal intelligence and investigation agency. The ACIC was formed to strengthen our national ability to respond to crime affecting Australia. The ACIC, through its investigative, research and information delivery services, works with law enforcement partners to improve the ability to stop criminals exploiting emerging opportunities and gaps in law enforcement information.

The ACIC reports to the Minister for Justice, is an entity of the Attorney-General's Department portfolio, and is accountable to and monitored and reviewed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

The ACIC Board includes representatives of Commonwealth, State and Territory law enforcement and key national security and regulatory agencies. The Board provides strategic direction to the ACIC and is responsible for determining special operations and special investigations.

The ACIC is subject to the jurisdiction of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, which is tasked with preventing, detecting and investigating law-enforcement related corruption issues.


History[edit]

The ACIC is established under the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cwlth) (ACC Act). The ACIC is an amalgamation of the Australian Crime Commission and the CrimTrac Agency. The ACIC has its historical roots in the National Crime Authority (NCA).

The role and functions of the ACIC are underpinned by supporting legislation in each state and territory.

On 1 July 2016, the Australian Crime Commission Amendment (National Policing Information) Act 2016 (Cwlth) amended the ACC Act to implement the carrying over of CrimTrac’s functions to the ACC, including the provision of systems and services relating to national policing information and nationally coordinated criminal history checks. In doing so Australia’s national criminal intelligence and information capabilities were brought under one banner, allowing police, justice agencies and policy makers at all levels of government to adopt a more effective, efficient and evidence-based response to crime.

As a Commonwealth statutory authority, the ACIC also has responsibilities under the Public Service Act 1999 (Cwlth) and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cwlth).


Roles and functions[edit]

The ACIC’s mission is to make Australia safer through improved national ability to connect, discover, understand and respond to current and emerging crime threats and criminal justice issues, including the ability for police and law enforcement to access essential policing knowledge and information.

The ACIC is uniquely equipped as Australia’s national criminal intelligence agency with investigative, research and information delivery functions. The agency works closely with a broad range of national and international partners to achieve their purpose. Taking account of criminal threats to Australia, and stakeholders’ needs, the ACIC creates a national intelligence picture of crime, targets serious and organised crime, delivers information capability and services to front line policing and law enforcement, and provides crime and justice research that produces an evidence base for addressing crime in Australia.

The ACIC undertakes criminological research and communicate the findings through the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC). They provide independent monitoring and research programs that enhance knowledge of crime and criminal justice issues in Australia, and provide strategic advice to inform policy development and reform.

Organised crime is now a part of the every day lives of Australians in ways that are unprecedented. The ACIC conservatively estimates organised crime to cost Australia at least A$36 billion annually.

It is essential to have effective and efficient information-sharing systems and criminal intelligence to support the operational law enforcement officers who protect our community.

The ACIC delivers information-sharing solutions between state, territory and federal law enforcement agencies including biometric matching, child protection, firearm services, police reference services, missing persons and domestic violence. The agency does this by bringing together essential law enforcement information from around the country and making it accessible to all Australian police and other law enforcement agencies.

The ACIC also manages the National Police Checking Service. The service enables controlled access to disclosable police history information from all Australian police agencies.

These capabilities are specifically designed to equip police with the information they need to investigate, solve and prevent crimes. This vital information can improve an officer’s decision-making and contribute to a safer Australia.

The ACIC’s coercive powers are used in special operations and special investigations to obtain information where traditional law enforcement methods are unlikely to be or have not been effective.

The ACIC’s coercive powers, similar to those of a Royal Commission, authorise examiners to compel persons to give evidence for the purposes of special ACIC operations or investigations. Examiners are appointed by the Governor General.

Examinations are conducted in private. Witnesses at examinations are able to claim protection so that the answers, documents or things they provide are not admissible in evidence against them in a criminal proceeding or a proceeding for the imposition of a penalty except in limited circumstances.

The coercive powers also authorise examiners to issue notices to be served on persons requiring them to produce documents or things relevant to a special operation or investigation. This power is broad, and a notice to produce may be issued to a person, a corporation or a Commonwealth government agency.


Organisation[edit]

The ACIC head office is in the Australian Capital Territory, and the agency has regional offices in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. The ACIC also has officers internationally deployed and works closely with law enforcement and criminal intelligence agencies in transnational criminal investigations.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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