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AUSTRALIA

The New South Wales government provided one million dollars to assign 400 police officers to new flying squads across the state. A team was to be created in each of the state's 11 police regions. During a trial of the system one team seized several kilograms of heroin as well as illegal firearms. Charges were laid against eight people as a result.

The Crime Stoppers program in Victoria- the oldest in the country-- almost collapsed because of an inability to attract a sponsor. "We've been living on our reserves, but they're now exhausted and legally there will be no alternative but to declare the company insolvent," Crime Stoppers Chairman Henry Bosch said. Since it was begun in 1987, the program had been responsible for 4,900 people being charged with 21,600 offenses and the recovery of A$11.7 million in stolen property.

BRITAIN

London Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Stevens said a shortfall of almost 1,000 civilians meant that many emergency calls and administrative tasks were being handled by 200 officers taken off the beat. At the same time, the number of uniformed officers was down by 2,500 from six years ago.

Money raised from speed camera fines will be used to buy more of the cameras. The government said this could result in a 50% increase in the number of speed cameras and a greater use of digital machines that do not require film. It said in areas where the cameras were being operated there had been a 20% reduction in the number of accidents.

CANADA

The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that police can invade a suspect's privacy with wiretaps if they have "no other reasonable means of investigation" to target sophisticated criminals. The court said police need to be able to use such tools to target sophisticated crime, when practically speaking there was no other way to infiltrate and catch the "higher-ups in the operation."

Ontario was to be the first province in Canada to freeze and seize the illegal profits of organized crime. A criminal conviction will not be needed. "Experts tell us that organized crime is motivated by illegal profits," said Attorney General Jim Flaherty. "The aim of this legislation is to disrupt and disable corrupt organizations, to put them out of business, and assist victims." The legislation will also allow victims to claim compensation against forfeited proceeds.

The Ontario Crime Control Commission proposed the creation of an Automobile Theft Prevention Authority to help combat auto theft and improve automobile recovery. "Half of all suspect apprehensions involve stolen automobiles," said co-chairman Frank Mazzilli. "Auto theft and auto related crimes endanger lives. …

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