NAPTHINE FAILS ASSET CONFISCATION SCHEME – CRIMINALS PROSPER
The Victorian Auditor General has slammed the Napthine Government over its failure to have an effective Asset Confiscation Scheme claiming it is not operating ‘effectively or efficiently’ in its efforts to stop further criminal activity.
Shadow Attorney General, Martin Pakula, said the scathing report found that the ability to deprive people of the proceeds of crime and deter further criminal activity were hindered by weaknesses in the way that assets are identified for confiscation and by how the scheme is governed.
Mr Pakula said the report found that even the Government’s own Asset Confiscation Scheme Executive Management Group (ACSEMG) which consists of Victoria Police, Office of Public Prosecutions and Department of Justice as well as the Confiscation Operations Committee failed to meet for the first two years of the Baillieu/Napthine Government.
Mr Pakula said the report found it had failed in its oversight and leadership roles, had not set a strategic focus for the scheme or ensured that objectives were being achieved.
“The Auditor General (AG) has effectively given the Napthine Government a major slap over its failure to make improvements to the scheme,” Mr Pakula said.
“It would seem that under the Napthine Government crime pays.
“Victorias police and prosecutors need support from Government if they are to be successful in stripping criminals of their ill-gotten gains, disrupting criminal enterprises and deterring criminal activity.
“The Napthine Government’s asset confiscation activities are weak – allowing organised crime figures to hide their assets and profit from their illegal activities.
“Instead of acting, the Napthine Government has sat on its hands and as is evidenced by Victoria Police statistics, crime has increased under Denis Napthine.
Victoria Police are a key player in asset confiscation but their work is undermined by administrative weaknesses and Napthine Government budget cuts of $100 million and the sacking of 400 staff.
“The Napthine Government seems more interested in headlines than they are about ensuring criminals don’t get away with making a lucrative living from their unlawful activities.”