Criminology student Diana Foster gained an inside look at Australia’s leading crime research centre recently.

She attended the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Student Forum in Canberra along with criminology, police studies, corrections, and law students from around Australia.

Australia’s national research and knowledge centre on crime and justice, the AIC met with students who are proposing to work or research in criminology or criminal justice areas.

Diana says the forum was informative and engaging and gave her insight into new research happening across Australia.

“I loved being in a criminological research environment and interacting with those in the main research centre in Australia.”

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice funded Diana’s travel expenses for the AIC Student Forum and will continue to sponsor a limited number of students to attend this annual event in the future.

Diana shares her experience of the forum with the School.

“We were first welcomed by the Director of the AIC, who gave us a brief summary of the roles and research areas conducted by the AIC and he also spoke about youth justice. We were then addressed by the Deputy Director who presented about crime prevention, specifically focussing on manufacturers and their products. I found this interesting, as it was a new idea surrounding crime prevention that I hadn’t learnt too much about during my university degree so far. For example, he spoke about things such as designing laptops/computers with built in anti-virus protection to prevent cyber crime.”

“Next, I was involved in the ‘Drugs in Australia’ workshop. Here we mainly discussed the trends and patterns of drug use in Australia and we heard about the DUMA (Drug Monitoring Program run by the AIC) process. A tour of the JV Barry Library followed the workshops, in which we were able to take home a book of our choice from a selection of older books used in the library.”

“After lunch, I attended a ‘Trafficking of Persons’ workshop. This was my number one highlight of the day as it is an area I am interested in later in my career. The AIC is the only research centre that has investigated trafficking within the Australia context and a research project by the AIC that was scheduled to last 6 months has been going on for 3 years. This illustrates that there is a clear gap in research in this field and that further research is neccessary. Within this workshop, we distinguished trafficking from people smuggling, discussed trafficking statistics and prevalence and analysed numerous case studies.”

“After this, we had a cyber crime seminar which outlined the various modalities of internet and computer crime. The final discussion of the day was on child exploitation material (CEM) which was my second favourite part of the forum. During this presentation, we defined CEM, discussed 2 case studies, the nature of CEM and methods used by law enforcement bodies to monitor CEM offenders,” she said.