Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology

First Criminology Honours Cohort Graduates from USC!

As Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Criminology (Honours) at the University of the Sunshine Coast I am very excited to showcase the work of our first graduating cohort from Honours. We had four students graduate the Honours program in 2021 whose topics explored sexual violence, community safety and CPTED, and motor vehicle theft prevention. Emily Moir, Criminology Honours Program Coordinator, USC.

Lyric Buzza: Child sexual abuse prevention: A review of the literature & Stop It Now! US: A qualitative history and review.

My thesis is entitled, ‘Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: A Review of the Literature & Stop It Now! US: A Qualitative History and Review.’ The literature review examined the strengths and weaknesses of primary, secondary, and tertiary methods of child sexual abuse prevention, endorsing the perpetrator-focused approach, a field currently in its infancy. The purpose of the project was to highlight the need for enhanced secondary prevention, discuss gaps current practice, and acknowledge and introduce the Stop It Now! program as a spearhead for effective secondary prevention. The project contained five main objectives; to consolidate a full history of Stop It Now! in each jurisdiction, to consider the social and political contexts shaping the dissemination of Stop It Now! in each jurisdiction, to discuss governance and branding, to acknowledge the initiatives implemented in differing jurisdictions and to analyse achievements and barriers to date. The study focused on the development and growth of the program over a nearly 30-year period, and serves to understand what elements facilitated success, and which may require further development to increase program uptake and expand secondary prevention methods on a global scale.
I currently tutor at USC, taking the Homicide and Criminal Profiling classes. I also works as a cybersecurity case manager at IDCARE, a not for profit charity that advises clients on scams, online compromises, misuse, and general security.  

Lyric Buzza

Caprice Large: Utilising CPTED principles and techniques to prevent alcohol-related violence and public nuisance crimes in Nambour

Utilising CPTED principles and techniques to prevent alcohol-related violence and public nuisance crimes in Nambour’ was created as a research project with consideration of future development within Nambour. Nambour was selected to be the host of a Special Entertainment Precinct (SEP) using live music venues and licensed settings to attract a hub of tourists to the area. The construction of this SEP recognised a different range of crime risks for the locale, inviting a new method of prevention and mitigation. First and second generation Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) includes the analysis of social and physical factors of an environment and this study applied their influences on specific types of crime such as violence, sexual assault and public nuisance crimes. Drawing from literature and previous audits, a unique scale was created to rate Nambour from 0-4 (non-existent to good) on 77 physical and 29 social features. The results of this audit demonstrated the town required significant attention or modification to successfully utilise CPTED principles and mitigate crime risks for residents and patrons. A brief history of CPTEDs application in SEPs and recommendations for the future development of Nambour were also included.

Also as of right now I am working in a role as a case manager in cyber security. Moving forward my aspirations are to pursue a role in the professional application of CPTED and I am also considering  moving on to a PhD. 

Caprice Large

Melanie Stedman: Harmful sexual behaviours amongst young people with autism symptomology

To enhance current knowledge, the aim of the study was to compare personal characteristics, harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) characteristics, and system responses among those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, and those without (non-ASD). This was examined among a sample of 76 clients involved in the Bravehearts Turning Corners program. Findings revealed that clients with ASD presented with more significant personal vulnerabilities, such as mental health concerns and learning difficulty. Important similarities regarding contextual (situational and ecological) features that may precipitate the onset of HSB were also found for both ASD and non-ASD groups. Specifically, it was found that environmental and situational risk factors provide similar opportunities for those inclined, regardless of an ASD diagnosis. Referral pathways also varied between the two groups, with a significantly higher proportion of ASD clients being referred via a non-justice route compared to non-ASD clients. These findings reveal a potential demand for non-justice related early intervention services for young people with ASD, as a mechanism for addressing HSB, and that the complex presentation of these young people suggests a more tailored therapeutic response may be required. Finally, findings emphasise the importance of addressing the common contexts in which youth-perpetrated HSB occurs, as both a mechanism for informing preventative initiatives, and for informing risk management strategies and intervention plans.

I have recently begun my career as a caseworker with the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs. This has been a longstanding goal of mine that the support of my supervisors and academic staff at USC have helped me achieve. I hope that after gaining some practical experience, I can return to USC and begin a PhD. Academia is something I have become very passionate about, and I would like to continue contributing to the field of sexual violence research and prevention throughout my career.

Melanie Stedman

Rhys Walker: Motor vehicle theft: A ‘securitisation’ perspective on the Queensland counter-trend

My 2021 honours project revolved around investigating the distinct 41% increase in motor vehicle theft (MVT) in Queensland from 2015 to 2020 while the neighbouring Australian states experienced an overall 12% decline. My mixed-method project aimed to investigate Queensland MVT activity to identify why Queensland differs from other states and what preventive measure may be required. The Quantitative element consisted of an analysis of data from government agencies that revealed the scope and prevalence of the issue throughout Queensland. The Qualitative element involved analysing interviews with experts and Australian articles from 2000-2020. The project’s triangulation of all the different analyses resulted in several key findings being devised. The most prominent finding was that opportunistic Queensland youth joyriders who were socioeconomically disadvantaged were responsible for the rise in Queensland and particularly in North Queensland. Naturally, prevention recommendations included educational/social programs to reengage youth with prosocial values and new vehicle security measures that would decrease the opportunities for MVT. My employment goals largely reflect the content I completed in my project.  I am considering pursuing a PhD to further my research skills or becoming a criminal intelligence analyst that will be able to provide strategic advice to relevant agencies to stop crime.

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