IACP New Sex Offender Management Publications Available
In collaboration with the American Probation and Parole Association, the IACP has released two new publications aimed at enhancing the ability of law enforcement agencies to monitor and track sex offenders in the community.
Strategically Monitoring Sex Offenders: Accessing Community Corrections’ Resources to Enhance Law Enforcement Capabilities describes methods and information used by corrections agencies that can benefit agencies in their efforts to monitor and track sex offenders. Tracking Sex Offenders with Electronic Monitoring Technology: Implications and Practical Uses for Law Enforcement defines and provides examples of electronic monitoring technology, discusses law enforcement involvement with electronic monitoring technology, outlines the benefits and concerns of using this technology, and highlights key considerations for the law enforcement community.
To access these publications and other sex offender management resources online, readers can visit http://www.iacp.org/profassist/ReturningOffenders.htm. To request copies of either of these publications or for more information on IACP sex offender management efforts, readers can contact Sarah Wygant, Training Coordinator, at 800-THE-IACP, extension 830, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Predicting and Surviving a No-Confidence Vote
A vote of no confidence is an action traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government. Over the past three decades, police employee organizations and unions have adopted a similar practice to achieve their goals.
Employee organizations and police unions have become politically active; some unions have political action committees and are involved in endorsing and lobbying local, state, and national candidates. In addition, union members have become astute in using the media to seek support from the public on their positions. The unions have found the no-confidence vote to be one of the most popular, powerful, effective political tools at their disposal, using this means increasingly to apply political pressure to influence employment contracts, wages, and the negotiation process; management policy and decision making by management; and the removal of a police chief from office.
Although a no-confidence vote is a severe test of a chief’s leadership, it is an event that the chief can survive.
The IACP’s Smaller Police Department Technical Assistance Program has recently released a best practices guide titled Predicting and Surviving a No-Confidence Vote, written by Richard Ahlstrom, chief of police (retired), Cedar Falls, Iowa. The guide is available online at http://www.theiacp.org/documents/pdfs/Publications/BP-NoConfidenceVote.pdf.
Illegal Online Medicine Suppliers Targeted
Action coordinated by the Permanent Forum on International Pharmaceutical Crime, INTERPOL, and the World Health Organization’s International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce targeting the illegal online sale of medicines to the public has resulted in a series of arrests and the seizure of potentially harmful medicines in operations carried out around the world.
Operation Pangea: An operation code-named Pangea focused on the individuals behind Internet sites that illegally sell and supply unlicensed or prescription-only medicines claiming to treat a range of ailments. Although many countries have previously carried out individual law enforcement activities targeting “Internet pharmacies,” Operation Pangea was the first time that action was taken on an international scale, with such participating countries as Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Buying medicines from illegal and unregulated Web sites poses significant risks, not least that the buyer is putting their health in danger by taking drugs which have no guarantee of safety, quality, or effectiveness,” said Jean-Michel Louboutin, INTERPOL’s executive director of police services. “With counterfeit drugs also being sold by these ‘Internet pharmacies,’ these pills containing little or no active ingredient not only have potential long term detrimental consequences on the effectiveness of real medicines, the profits derived from these also are often directed towards organized crime.”
Locations in each country were identified, with investigators visiting residential and commercial addresses relating to Internet sites believed to be selling unlicensed or prescription-only medicines claiming to treat conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hair loss. Investigations in a number of countries are still ongoing, with the final results from Operation Pangea to be released upon their conclusion.
Operation Storm: In an operation code-named Operation Storm, police across Southeast Asia made a series of arrests and seized fake drugs worth millions of dollars. This operation targeted individuals and groups involved in the manufacture and distribution of four classes of counterfeit medicines identified as posing a significant public health risk: antimalaria, antituberculosis, anti-HIV, and antibiotic medicines, specifically those for pneumonia and child-related illnesses.
Operation Storm, which took place across Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, also provided a unique platform for collaboration between national police, customs, public health authorities, drug regulatory authorities, international organizations, and the private sector. In the course of the operation, which ran from April 15 to September 15, 2008, nearly 200 raids were carried out, resulting in 27 arrests and the seizure of more than 16 million pills, with an estimated value of U.S. $6.6 million.
Additional information about pharmaceutical counterfeiting can be found in the Police Chief. The articles “Pharmaceutical Counterfeiting: Understanding the Extent of a New Transnational Crime” and “Beer Cooler Biologics: The Dangers of Counterfeit Drugs,” both by Thomas T. Kubic, alerted the law enforcement community in August to the high profits and the low probability of detection associated with this crime, both of which are drawing more criminals into this lucrative, illicit trade. The articles are available online at www.policechiefmagazine.org, in the August 2008 issue.
Study Dispels Myths about Girls’ Delinquency
On October 30, 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released a research bulletin, The Girls Study Group—Charting the Way to Delinquency Prevention for Girls, which reports that despite the rise in female juvenile crime, violence among female youth has not increased.
Following a sharp increase in arrests among female juveniles in the 1990s, the OJJDP convened the Girls Study Group (GSG) to gain a better understanding of girls’ delinquency and to guide policy toward female juvenile offenders. Because most delinquent offenders are boys, little research exists on female juvenile delinquency. This first bulletin, part of a forthcoming series, summarizes findings from a comprehensive research project into girls’ delinquent behavior. Key findings of the OJJDP-sponsored GSG include the following:
- Girls are not more violent now than in previous years.
- Some of the increased number of arrests are an unintended consequence of relatively new mandatory or proarrest policies put in place to protect victims of domestic violence.
- Girls and boys experience many of the same delinquency factors; for this reason, although some risk factors are more gender sensitive, focusing on general risk and protective factors for all youths is effective.
- Developing and using appropriate risk assessment tools for youths of both genders are crucial to ensuring the best response.
- A concerted effort is needed to address the lack of evidence-based programs for the juvenile justice field overall, as well as the lack of programming for girls specifically.
Over the next several months, a series of bulletins will be released highlighting the GSG findings, each one focusing on specific questions from the study group’s research. The questions answered by the bulletins will include the following:
- Which girls become delinquent?
- What factors protect girls from delinquency?
- What factors put girls at risk for delinquency?
- What pathways lead to girls’ delinquency?
- How should the juvenile justice system respond to girls’ delinquency?
For more information on the OJJDP’s programs for delinquent girls, readers can visit http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/programs/girlsdelinquency.html.
Global Cigarette Smuggling
A new series of investigative journalism reports underscores the vast scope of the problem of cigarette smuggling, which harms global health, funds organized crime and terrorist organizations, and costs governments billions in revenue. These reports demonstrate why combating the illicit tobacco trade must become a more urgent international priority and why nations must make significant progress toward agreement on a strong and effective treaty to address this problem. Far from being an arcane issue, the illicit trafficking of cigarettes has serious public health, national security, and economic consequences for all the world’s nations.
Cigarettes are the world’s most widely smuggled—but otherwise legal—consumer product. Experts estimate that contraband cigarettes account for about 11 percent of global cigarette sales, or about 600 billion cigarettes annually, and cost governments more than U.S. $40 billion annually in tax revenue.
Coinciding with the treaty negotiations, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a project of the Center for Public Integrity, issued a series of investigative reports that describes the illicit tobacco trade as a “booming business” that “stretches from counterfeiters in China and renegade factories in Russia to Indian reservations in New York and warlords in Pakistan and North Africa.” Based on investigative reporting from 15 countries, the reports shed new light on the players involved—including organized crime syndicates and terrorist groups—as well as the smuggling routes and techniques they use:
- One report details how a network of Russian and East European factories is behind at least $1 billion worth of contraband cigarettes pouring into Europe with a brand name, Jin Ling, that has no legal market share, does no advertising, and appears to be produced exclusively for the black market. According to the report, Jin Ling is “the world’s first ever cigarette brand designed and manufactured only for smuggling.”
- Another report details how Chinese counterfeiters obtained technology to reproduce the protective holograms on packs of top Western cigarette brands and have become by far the world’s largest suppliers of counterfeit cigarettes, including fakes of brands such as Marlboro and Newport. These counterfeiters produce roughly 200 billion cigarettes annually, which are disguised as chinaware, toys, and furniture and shipped into ports worldwide. One massive smuggling network described in the report moved a billion counterfeit cigarettes from China into the United States.
- A third report finds that Gallaher, the United Kingdom cigarette manufacturer, worked through distributors to funnel large quantities of cigarettes to developing countries with no real market share.
- Another report details how an El Paso, Texas, smuggler masterminded the trafficking of up to half a billion cigarettes across the United States, sold largely by smoke shop vendors on Indian reservations.
The illicit-trade treaty will be a supplementary treaty, or protocol, to the existing international tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which became international law in February 2005 and has been ratified by 160 countries. The FCTC obligates ratifying nations to implement scientifically proven measures to reduce tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes; bans on tobacco advertising, promotions, and sponsorships; smoke-free workplaces and public places; and stronger health warnings.
The illicit tobacco trade circumvents policies to reduce tobacco use, in particular higher tobacco taxes, and encourages consumption, especially among price-sensitive young people, by making cigarettes available cheaply.
For more information, readers can view the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists/Center for Public Integrity investigative reports at http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/tobacco/, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids International Resource Center at http://tobaccofreecenter.org/resources/illicit_trade_smuggling/, and the Framework Convention Alliance Web site at www.fctc.org. ■