2011 Pacific Transnational Crime Assessment
Members will recall that discussion at the 2010 PILON Annual Meeting regarding legal frameworks and initiatives for addressing transnational crime included reference to the annual Pacific Transnational Crime Assessment (PTCA). A presentation provided on behalf of the Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN) highlighted the data contributed by its coordination centre (PTCCC) to the PTCA; and resulted in agreement by Members to support the efforts of the PTCN in combating transnational crime, and the work of the PTCCC in collecting crime statistics and working with other forums to share information.
The 2011 PTCA, prepared by the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and its regional law enforcement partners, was presented at the 2011 Forum Regional Security Committee meeting. The PTCA highlights transnational crime threats and was developed to provide an overview of activities that are being reported by regional and national law enforcement agencies regarding transnational organised crime trends and emerging issues in the region.
The PTCA individually addresses each of the following areas of law enforcement and provides reports from the following regional law enforcement secretariats:
1. Customs - Oceania Customs Organisation Report
2. Immigration –Pacific Immigration Director’s Conference, Strategic Assessment on Immigration 2011
3. Police – Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN), Transnational Crime Assessment 2010
4. Fisheries – Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency Report 2011
5. Maritime – Secretariat of the Pacific Community Maritime Security Report 2011
The report recognises the following strategic issues:
1. A wide range of organised crime activities take place in the region;
2. Organised crime activities remain a destabilizing force to national and regional stability as well as a threat to governance and law enforcement structures; and
3. Effective national law enforcement agencies supported by modern domestic legislation, enhanced law enforcement capacity and regional cooperation and political motivation are required to combat the threat.
As part of a review of previous and emerging Pacific transnational crime issues, “Legislation” is highlighted as a problematic area consistently identified by regional law enforcement secretariats, with gaps in specific jurisdictions reported in areas such as money laundering, organized crime groups, counterfeit goods/ IP rights and human trafficking and people smuggling. The 2011 PTCA report identifies that improved coordination by national law enforcement agencies to identify legislative areas of concern; commitment by PICs to introduce, provide training and implement new legislation; and donor support in this area (such as that offered through PIFS and the Australian AGD Pacific Section) continues to be required.
The issues highlighted in the 2011 PTCA lend further support to PILON Members’ recognition in the 2010 Annual Meeting communiqué of the need to improve and update legal frameworks to combat transnational organised crime.