Monday 21st December 2015 - 6:49 am

Organised crime costs us $36 billion a year

by Alan Thornhill

Serious and organised crime is costing Australia $36 billion a year.


This was confirmed in  research published by the Australian Crime Commission.


The Federal Justice Minister, Michael Keenan, said this is double previous estimates.


He described organised crime as “an ongoing threat to this country.”

Speaking of the criminals responsible he said:” they are violent predators who profit from the misery of evil trades.’
Mr Kennan also said:”Modern technologies are enabling organised criminals to expand their reach globally and inject themselves beyond traditional business models into new markets – increasing the misery being peddled and generating greater proceeds from crime.”
This had meant:”Australia has become a target for organised criminals from all around the world because Australians are paying top dollar for the misery these crooks peddle like the drug ice.”


Mr Keenan warned that users are not only bankrolling the criminals that who are infiltrating and destroying our communities with their dangerous drugs.


“… they are ensuring our nation remains a lucrative market for international crime syndicates.


“New analysis by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) has revealed that serious and organised crime is costing the Australian economy $36 billion per year – more than double previous estimates.


Mr Keenan said:”There is a perception among some people who take drugs that their illegal activities hurts no one.”


“But it’s actually costing every Australian more than $1500 – and sadly for some Australians, it has cost them their lives.”


“Our law enforcement agencies are going as hard as they can with all the tools we have provided, “ he added.


“But these efforts will always be challenged by organised gangs and their criminal business models if there is a lucrative market to exploit.”


That is why since coming to Government we have invested heavily in our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to boost their efforts to detect, disrupt and undermine the business models of organised criminals.”
“This is boosting our international cooperation to crack down on organised criminal syndicates responsible for the exportation of ice to Australia, including through Taskforce Blaze – a joint agency taskforce between the Australian Federal Police and the Chinese National Narcotics Control Commission focussed on investigating organised criminal syndicates responsible for the exportation of ice to Australia.


This is the first ever joint agency taskforce of its kind.”
He said:”The $36 billion figure takes into account the costs of serious and organised criminal activity ($21 billion) and the cost of prevention and response initiatives ($16 billion). “
He said, too, that:”Prevention and response costs include the costs incurred by law enforcement, the criminal justice system and other government agencies, the private sector and the general community in responding to, and preventing organised criminal activity.”
“This is the first time the ACC has estimated the cost of serious and organised crime on the economy,.” Mr Keenan said.



“ It does not represent an explosion in crime, rather an improved understanding of the cost impacts to government, the community and the private sector.



“This will assist Government and our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to make an informed response to tackling this evolving market,” he added.
The project was led by an independent expert economist and criminologist, and was subject to review by a range of experts including law enforcement officers, criminologists and economists.
Mr Keenan said the ACC’s public summary could be seen at

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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