International Edition Volume 7 (2017)

Trafficking in Persons in an Era of Growing Irregular Migration

Keynote Address, European Union Anti-Trafficking Day, Vienna, 14 October 2015

Full-Text (382,6 KB) Citation (1,4 KB)

Andreas Schloenhardt

The exploitation of migrants, many of them refugees, who are seeking asylum in Austria and other parts of Europe has made front-page news for several years and raises questions about the differentiation between trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. This article explores the levels and characteristics of recent irregular migration flows, global trends and developments in Europe and Austria concerning trafficking in persons, and examines the circumstances of trafficking, displacement and persecution. The aim of this article is to reflect on the root causes of irregular migration and trafficking in persons and on the best ways to prevent these phenomena.

Return to overview 

Space for Crime

Citation (416,5 KB) Citation (1,5 KB)

Johannes Luff

In addition to the suspect and the victim, the scene of the incident is one of the basic elements of a crime. While the police primarily determine things in a person- or crimespecific manner, the spatial reference of the crime and, more generally, its criminal geography, has been one of the most relevant analysis fields of criminology for almost 200 years. Human interactions always occur at a certain time in a given space and must also be analysed based on this "coordinate system". There has been a change in criminality in recent years concerning the importance of the space for the inspection of criminal offences. As a result of the advent and growth of cybercrime, in addition to the real space, an alternative is developing in the form of virtual space, which promises the perpetrator greater anonymity and thus a lower likelihood of the crime being solved. These spatial relocation trends of crime are the reason to examine the relationships between human emotions, different spatial dimensions and crime from various perspectives.

Return to overview 

Mobile Youth Work as a Complex Security Measure

Insights from the KIRAS Project JA_SICHER

Full-Text (1,1 MB) Citation (2,4 KB) 

Hemma Mayrhofer, Andreas Bengesser

The JA_SICHER study, funded by the KIRAS Security Research Programme, investigated the mechanisms of mobile youth work. These offers to juveniles in the public sphere provide complex security work taking the communal level into account. The project used elaborate methodological tools to generate meaningful insights and derive evidence-based recommendations for the optimisation of mobile youth work and social peace in the community. The article resents selected findings from the impact assessment, in which the selection criterion was relevant to the police's security and prevention work. The various methodological evaluations initially showed a significant tolerance-enhancing role model effect on the basis of trusting relationships between juveniles and youth workers, for example, in the dimensions of gender, sexual orientation, as well as national or ethnic origin. They reveal the large potential of mobile youth work to promote de-escalated ways of dealing with conflicts that are also oriented towards understanding. The data obtained also show a statistically demonstrable link between interventions of mobile youth work and the reduction of offences with juvenile suspects – both in general and also in terms of specific offences such as bodily harm. The achievable effects concerning the handling of legal requirements and prohibitions in general, as well as in terms of various types of addictive drugs, are more heterogeneous. However, mobile youth work also has a significant impact here, especially in long-term contact with juveniles. In practice, the interface design between youth workers and the police requires a professionally reflected alternation between proximity and distance in order to ensure supportive relationships in the overlapping areas of professional activity.

Return to overview 

Active Repentance

Basic questions regarding the timeliness and voluntary nature of damage compensation

Full-Text (681 KB) Citation (3 KB) 

Richard Soyer, Sergio Pollak

The legal institution of active repentance in the case of property crimes pursuant to Section 167 of the Austrian Criminal Code (StGB) is an internationally recognisable core element of the Austrian (criminal) legal culture. Active repentance enables the peaceful reconciliation of perpetrators and victims, and is thus, so to speak, a door-opener towards restorative justice. Active repentance completely compensates for the legal consequences of the particular concluded and reprehensible property crime. The perpetrator is thus exempt from punishment by being positioned as though he had never formally committed the crime. This legal institution enjoys a great deal of acceptance in the country. The Austrian regulation partially provokes astonishment in related (criminal) jurisdictions. The fact that positive behaviour after the infringement – in the form of restitution for damages – does not merely reduce the punishment, but removes the punishment in toto, is something special in any case. In the opinion of the authors, the legal institution of active repentance has its full justification in the Austrian legal system. By the meeting of existential interests of the victim and the accused, it seems only in keeping with the notion that the state should take a step back with its requirement for prosecution and provide an attractive possibility to the involved parties to solve the "problem" themselves. The Austrian regulation of active repentance currently is a kind of driving force in Germany for reform ideas desirable from the perspective of the victim. There is also a certain need for action in Austria in terms of legal policy: The extension of the applicability of the regulation to at least Section 136 of the Austrian Criminal Code (unauthorised use of vehicles) is indicated, since it is, de lege lata, contrary to the system if the car thief can become exempt from punishment by active repentance (Section 127 of the Austrian Criminal Code), but at the same time, the temporary (car) thief who has made unauthorised use of a motorised vehicle is punished despite repentance for his behaviour. Furthermore, making a wider repentance regulation available for crimes related to the protection of non-cash means of payment (Sections 241a ff. of the Austrian Criminal Code), which have a certain proximity to property crime, must be considered.

Return to overview 

The New Act concerning Police Protection of the State

Full-Text (424,5 KB) Citation (1,5 KB)

Lisa Pühringer

After a discussion process of almost two years, the Act concerning Police Protection of the State (PStSG) was passed by the National Council on 26 January 2016 and entered into force on 1 July 2016. The discussion and the media attention relating to the Act concerning Police Protection of the State focused on the following central questions: What prerequisites (in particular which suspicious situations) have to apply in order to bring groups or individuals into the spotlight of the state protection authorities established with the security authorities? What powers do they need? Who controls the legality of the data collection and is this control really comprehensive and independent? Before these questions are examined in detail, a brief outline of the formation process of the Act concerning Police Protection of the State should be drawn up, since this has essentially distinguished itself from other law-making processes.

Return to overview 

How does Violence end up in World Religions?

On prevention of religion-based justification of extremism

Full-Text (3,3 MB) Citation (1,7 KB) 

Michael Blume

Popular perception holds that there are more peaceful and more warlike religions, such as Buddhism and Islam. However, an analysis from the perspective of religious studies shows that no religion is immune from coining variants on glorification of violence; just as vice versa, every religion can also be interpreted as peaceable and life-enhancing. Conspiracy theories are common to all violent groups – whether political and ideological or religious. These allege a worldwide supremacy of evil and also try to justify terrorist violence as self-defence. Jews (anti-Semitism) or Illuminati and the US elites controlled by them (anti-Americanism) are regularly identified as the super-conspirators. New digital media enables the networking and recruitment of kindred spirits to be accelerated and promoted. In large parts of the Arab, Islamic world, as well as in Russia, Venezuela and some African countries, oil and gas rents also favour the consolidation of authoritarian structures and mentalities. The article concludes with concrete proposals for the prevention of radicalisation processes among religious communities.

Return to overview 

Walking the Beat as District Police Work

Full-Text (517,9 KB) Citation (998 Bytes) 

Christiane Howe

The following remarks describe the implications, challenges and opportunities of communicative police work, carried out rather independently of events, sometimes also referred to as preventative policing. How do police officers get information, knowledge and an overview in this context? What do they accomplish with this type of work? The work processes of the police units are reproduced in their practice and are described and analysed using recurrent, cyclic sequences.

Return to overview 

Competence Profile and Competence Training for the Police Service

Full-Text (764,9 KB) Citation (2,3 KB) 

Thomas Schlesinger, Andreas Nagl, Julia Kremnitzer

The Security Academy of the Federal Ministry of the Interior is currently developing a competence training for basic police training on the basis of a previously compiled competence profile for uniformed police officers. The "Police.Power.Human.Rights." project provided the impetus for this. As a comprehensive organisational development project involving civil society, it placed human rights at the centre of police action, thus providing clear orientation for the federal police and its task fulfilment. The starting point for the development of a competence profile for police officers was asking what requirement profile a police officer should correspond to in order to be able to cope with the daily routine as best as possible. The Heyse and Erpenbeck competence model formed the basis of this research. A quantitative questionnaire survey was carried out in order to develop the perspective of the employees of the Ministry of the Interior. Research on the social perspective was carried out by the queraum research institute on the basis of qualitative methods. The competence profile was developed after the amalgamation of this data. This is used as the starting point for the content-related evaluation of the basic police training. This competence profile also forms the basis of the planned competence training in basic police training, which follows a holistic training approach with the best possible cross-linking of the training contents and which should correspond to the goal of "certainty in actions and a citizen-oriented approach on the basis of human rights intervention" derived from the "Police.Power.Human.Rights." project.

Return to overview