Crime Point-in-Time Service Updates

Monday 12 November 2018 @ 9.59 a.m.

The Crime Point-in-Time Service has been updated to include the Criminal Code Amendment (Food Contamination) Act 2018 (Cth) (Act 98 of 2018) and the Unexplained Wealth Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (Cth) (Act 126 of 2018).

Act 98 of 2018

The Act strengthens Australia’s food contamination offences in the wake of recent events involving the contamination of strawberries. 
The Act increase the maximum penalty for existing offences in the Criminal Code 1995 (Criminal Code) (sections 380.1- 380.5) that deal with the contamination of goods with the intention of causing public alarm or anxiety, economic loss or harm or a risk of harm to public health in Australia from 10 years’ to 15 years’ imprisonment. 
The Act creates new offences in the Criminal Code that will apply where a person is reckless as to whether they will cause public alarm or anxiety, economic loss or harm or a risk of harm to public health in Australia. These recklessness-based offences mirror the intention-based offences. The maximum penalty for these offences is 10 years’ imprisonment.
The Act also amends the existing definition of "public infrastructure" within the sabotage offences in Division 82 of the Criminal Code to cover food intended for public consumption, and services and utilities relating to food.

Act 126 of 2018

The Unexplained Wealth Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (the Act) amends the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) (the POC Act) to give effect to the National Cooperative Scheme on Unexplained Wealth (the national scheme) as recommended by the February 2014 Independent Report of the Panel on Unexplained Wealth (the Report) by former police commissioners, Mr Ken Moroney AO APM and Mr Mick Palmer AO APM, and negotiated by the Officials-Level Working Group on Unexplained Wealth under the auspices of the former Law, Crime and Community Safety Council.
The Act, supplemented by an Intergovernmental Agreement on the National Cooperative Scheme on Unexplained Wealth (the ‘NCSUW agreement’) and State Acts, gives effect to the following aspects of the national scheme:

  • extending the scope of Commonwealth unexplained wealth restraining orders (section 20A) and unexplained wealth orders (section 179E) under the POC Act to Territory offences (specifically ‘self-governing Territories’ including the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory) and ‘relevant offences’ defined in the legislation of ‘participating States’
  • allowing ‘participating State’ and Territory agencies to access Commonwealth information gathering powers under the POC Act for the investigation or litigation of unexplained wealth matters under State or Territory unexplained wealth legislation, through inserting new provisions based on current production orders and notices to financial institutions powers
  • provisions to ensure the continued effective operation of State and Territory confiscation regimes
  • new equitable sharing arrangements to ensure that the contributions of Commonwealth, State, Territory and foreign law enforcement entities to investigating and litigating proceeds of crime matters and associated criminal proceedings are appropriately recognised through the sharing of recovered proceeds, and
  • amendments to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth) allowing Commonwealth, Territory and ‘participating State’ law enforcement agencies to use, communicate and record lawfully intercepted information in relation to unexplained wealth investigations and proceedings.

The amendments made by these Acts have been updated in the Point-in-Time Crime Service current to 9 November 2018. (NB: Subscription required).

If you are not already a subscriber to this or other Point-in-Time Services then please contact us to find out more or to take a free trial