Is there a plan for organised crime policy in Queensland?


Queensland University of Technology,

The Queensland Government has taken major steps to respond to organised crime in the last seven years, including extensive expansions of legislation and, in 2015-16, two major independent reviews. But it is not clear that there is a coherent definition of organised crime or a social goal to align the activities and measure success. Many politicians still harbour mythical pictures of organised crime as Mafia style bodies (Cressey 1969; Albini & McIllwain 2012) or have recharacterised it entirely as a problem with motorcycle gangs (Lauchs, Bain & Bell 2015). The characterisation of organised crime and its social harm is still a contested area in academic literature as well as international policy (von Lampe 2016) and policy makers too frequently look for policy responses solely within the justice system rather than across government. This paper will examine the legislative debates, the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry 2015 and the Report of the Taskforce on Organised Crime Legislation 2016 to determine the manner in which organised crime is perceived in Queensland and whether there is a coherent picture of a response and measure of success.


Mark is an Associate Professor at QUT who researches corruption and organised crime with a focus on outlaw motorcycle gangs. He teaches policy and coordinates the undergraduate and post-graduate policy courses at the School of Justice.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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