The Waterfall Effect: policing, security and intelligence building against organised crime and corruption at the port of Melbourne

Dr Anna Sergi1

1University Of Essex, ,

The main aim of this paper is to explore and evaluate how the complex environment of seaports might act as conduit or attract criminal networks that operate in cities and territories behind seaports. Specifically, the paper will present the case study of the port of Melbourne.

Departing from considerations on the evolution of port security to counter criminal activities, and on the challenges of policing organised crime at the waterfront, this paper includes juridical data collected through national databases, press releases from law enforcement authorities, official policy documents, visits to port terminals and interviews of officials from law enforcement authorities with jurisdiction on the port.

The paper will present and reflect on aims, challenges and debates around the collection of intelligence, the policing and the security strategic arrangements in and around the port of Melbourne. The paper will observe a “waterfall effect” from the activities and the sophistication of organised crime groups in the city onto the port. Thus, this work will argue that a urban and cultural criminology approach to organised crime and corruption might support a deeper understanding of the opportunities for organised crime, and the vulnerabilities to corruption, in the port of Melbourne as tied up to the city’s underworld.


Biography:

Dr Anna Sergi is currently Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Essex, UK. Her research specialism is in organised crime studies and comparative criminal justice. She has published extensively in renowned peer-review journals in criminology on topics related to Italian mafias both in Italy and abroad as well as on policing strategies against organised crime across states. She has authored three monographs on topics such as policing of organised crime through comparative lenses, the Calabrian ’ndrangheta in Italy and the world, corruption and soccer in Italy. She has received funding from different universities in Australia, Canada and Italy for visiting fellowships, as well as grants from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust to carry out her research projects. Her current research project on vulnerabilities and opportunities for organised crime groups in seaports is indeed funded by the British Academy under the call ’Tackling the UK’s International Challenges’.

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