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MONOGRAPHS FROM DRUG POLICY MODELLING PROGRAMME: AUSTRALIA

Look like an interesting series of research papers and literature reviews from the University of New South Wales, including drug markets and calculating social costs per gram and per user of illegal drugs. Please add some comments on the quality of the papers if you get a chance to read them.

EU BORDERLESS ZONE EXPANDS AT AIRPORTS

Malta and 8 Eastern European EU states complete their joining of Schengen. It includes 22 EU member states, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland will join shortly. Uk and Ireland remain outside in name, although both have implemented over 85% of relevant measure in a piecemeal way. Ireland cannot join, because it has an open border with the UK. UK wont join because it wishes to present itself as having control over its borders for domestic political reasons.

50 ARRESTS IN POLICE OPERATION IN SOUTH DEVON

Looks as though there may have been a national operation going on against crime networks. Would be great if readers could send links to any local press reports of this sort. It follows on from the North London operation against loose networks yesterday. This one is called operation Toledo and brought in Avon and Somerset officers as back up. Burglary, vehicle crime, handling stolen goods and drugs were the offences listed.

HUNDREDS OF POLICE STAGE NORTH LONDON RAIDS

Part of an operation targetting loosely connected networks. Blackstock Road, close to Finsbury Park Mosque was suspected to be a venue for criminals of Algerian descent, with 19 businesses alleged to be involved. Drugs, stolen laptops and telephones the commodities traded. Maybe they’ll find those missing databanks at last!
Dawn raids had also taken place at a number of premises across London.

TRACKING HATE CRIMES A TRICKY BUSINESS

A form of organised crime never properly discussed or integrated into the literature. I mentioned the possibility of ideology being a variable in the analysis of organised crime, and here’s a clear example. Right wing attacks get away without being called terrorism, because they use lower forms of violence. Fists and clubs rather than guns. Equally, they escape monitoring in some countries because they are not seen as worthy of a particular category. Yet the incidence of hate crime is an important indicator in predicting public disorder.
In the 1980s, there were links between hate crime groups and the import of violent pornography, according to Searchlight [ http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/ ] The article also refers to Human Rights First an NGO monitoring hate crime in OSCE countries [among other things] http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/

EU DATA PROTECTION CHIEF CRITICISES FINGERPRINT PLAN

The splendidly named Mr. Hustinx, criticises the European Commission, which failed in its legal obligation to consult him on its proposal for a centralised fingerprints database. The Commission also proposed minimum standards for biometrics in passports, which is not objectionable in itself, but the European Data Supervisor should have been consulted.
I must find the link to the report on the Commision’s previous desires for centralised databases. National databases, but a legal structure for data sharing with judicial supervision, please!

THE STREET REVIEW: A REVIEW OF INTEROPERABILITY BETWEEN THE AFP AND ITS SECURITY PARTNERS

We could do with lots of these. Preferably not just: have they ticked the boxes, but: have they really been successful and do we remember what the goals were?
This one is a bit too much oriented to more powers, more committees, and no comment on regular review of information stored to ensure gossip doesnt become a means of keeping someone in jail or deporting them. I dont see a review of the case of that poor doctor who found himself deported, for example.
Reliablity of source, corroboration from other sources and review of data protection. Intelligence is not evidence, after all.
Ive only glanced through it so far. Bit bureaucratic really, but given the membership, what else could it be?

TOILET PAPER, SPAM AND A POLITICAL HIT

Some great stories in the Moscow Times. This one raises questions about the crimes of the powerful and the use of semi-official youth groups to keep the media compliant. The story is about a hacking campaign against Kommersant and the question of who is behind it and why the police don’t intervene to stop these clearly criminal activities.
But the headline is a joy!

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