Phone and financial records – or perhaps the guest-list at a gangland funeral – can be sources of useful information about the nature of the links and networks that support organised crime and corruption, and even terrorism.
Director of the Flinders Centre for Crime Policy and Research Professor Andrew Goldsmith is organiser of the 6th Illicit Networks workshop, to be held at Flinders University Victoria Square on 11 and 12 December.
Professor Goldsmith said the three strands of the workshop concerned the nature of organised crime groups, of terrorist groups and of groups involved in corruption.
An approach called network analysis will be the focus for many of the more than 25 papers to be presented at the workshop
“Network analysis a way of looking at relationships and understanding their significance, and it is an approach that increasingly has come to explain a lot of organised and transnational crime over the past 10 or 15 years,” Professor Goldsmith said.
“It’s network analysis that can illuminate some of the relationships that may or may not be there on the surface, through studying telephone records or other forms of data that establish some kind of basis for a relationship.
“The idea is to look at how these groups are formed, and how they become either resilient or vulnerable to various interventions.”
The workshop program includes presenters from Canada, the US and the UK, as well as experts from around Australia, while registrants at the workshop include representatives from law enforcement bodies including the Australian Federal Police, anti-corruption agencies and the defence forces.
“We are trying to get a conversation happening between the agencies and practitioners and the academics and researchers,” Professor Goldsmith said.
“Working out how to allocate law enforcement and crime prevention resources according to a better understanding of these organisations is a big part of the idea.”