Crimes against the person which can be described as violent include:
• Physical assault
• Threatened assault (including face-to-face and non face-to-face)
• Robbery (including attempts)
• Sexual assault (including attempts)
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC) has no single category for violent crime, but the first 6 of its divisions involve offences committed against a person namely:
1. Homicide and related offences;
2. Acts intended to cause injury;
3. Sexual assault and related offences;
4. Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons;
5. Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person;
6. Robbery, extortion and related offences.
Organised criminal activity in Australia is unfortunately prevalent however remains hidden to the general population.
Organised crime is also likely to use extortion, through threats of violence, as both a primary profit-generating activity—for example, in conjunction with the trafficking of highly profitable illicit commodities such as amphetamine-type stimulants or cocaine—and an enabling activity that can assist in the expansion of market control. This can include the infiltration of legitimate business structures for criminal gain.
Violence is a key arbitrator in the competition between those operating in the same criminal markets. This means that it is likely that the levels of violence occurring among organised crime groups will ebb and flow depending on the number, size and ‘strength’ of the groups in any particular crime market, as well as the size and profitability of any given crime market.
Key reasons for the use of violence by organised crime include:
- ‘warning off’ competitors in criminal markets
- retaliation for previous violent acts
- retaliation for failure to supply goods
- employment of stand-over tactics on behalf of other criminal groups
- internal group discipline
- maintenance of ‘honour’ or status
- extortion to gain money or access to other business activities.
These crimes are extremely serious and will proceed to the higher courts in the land including the County and Supreme Courts.