"Going Dutch"? Comparing Approaches to Preventing Organised Crime in Australia and the Netherlands

Julie Ayling

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Although law enforcement remains the dominant response of states to organised crime, there has long been a heated debate surrounding the choice of the best approach. Prevention has increasingly become a focus. Australia and the Netherlands have encountered similar risks from organised crime but have adopted very different approaches to the problem. Australia's "tough on crime" approach seeks to reduce the planning and conduct of criminal activities by exerting firm state control over the associations between members of criminal organisations. Its response has been widely criticised as regressive and unfair. In contrast, the Netherlands has adopted a situational crime prevention model aimed at preventing organised crime through a coordinated whole-of-government system. This administrative approach has been hailed by many as both unique and successful. Drawing on the academic literature and consultations with experts in the Netherlands and Australia, the article argues that the administrative approach has significant potential to combat the propensity of organised crime to exploit legal opportunities and penetrate legitimate businesses, unlike the anti-associations approach adopted in Australia. It contends that by "going Dutch", i.e. adopting an administrative approach that embeds regulatory law and policy into the state's response, the Australian authorities could develop better preventive tools to fight organised crime.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-107
    JournalThe European Review of Organised Crime
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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