Articles by Zeb Holmes

Murder for Hire in Australia


2016 was a big year for media coverage of contract killings. The year started with the murder of Joseph Acquaro, the criminal defence lawyer for Melbourne crime boss Rocco Arico. More recently, crime figure Pasquale Barbaro lost his life in an execution-style killing. These events feed sensationalist journalism of gangland wars headed by powerful figures ...

Blaming Immigrants for Melbourne’s Youth Crime Wave: Fact vs Fiction


Recent crime statistics fly in the face of mainstream media reports that Sudanese immigrants are largely responsible for a rise in youth crime in Victoria. The statistics suggest that youth crime is overwhelmingly committed by those born in Australia, leading to criticism of the alleged profiling of Sudanese teenagers. Racial profiling Youth worker Deng Maleek says young ...

Sixty Percent of Pregnant Women are Putting Children at Risk


Although a range of complex factors contribute to high incarceration rates amongst Indigenous youth in Australia, the impact of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) remains relatively unknown to the public. The Northern Territory’s Royal Commission into Juvenile Justice recently acknowledged that FASD is a major contributing factor to offending conduct amongst youths in that jurisdiction ...

Police Strike Force to Investigate Sydney Killings


NSW Police have developed a new strike force in an effort to stamp out gangland warfare, after the killing of several crime figures on Sydney’s streets in recent months. Investigations into a number of shooting deaths over the past 17 months will be consolidated under ‘Strike Force Osprey’, which was launched by NSW Police Commissioner ...

Trump vs Clinton: Crime Policies of the US Presidential Candidates


Later today, voters will decide who will be the next US President. While Australia is on the other side of the world, US policies on domestic and international law enforcement are influential well beyond the country’s borders – and indeed throughout the developed world. Without delving into the election’s contentious issues of race and immigration, ...

Queensland Moves Towards a Bill of Rights


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the state will be moving towards a human rights charter, with a view to creating a bill of rights. The Labor Party leader did not explain the finer points of the proposal, but said it will be modelled on the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. ...

Should Anti-Vaccination Nurses be Prosecuted?


A small number of nurses and midwives who have been disseminating anti-vaccination advice on social media could be prosecuted for sharing “false or misleading” information. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has urged patients and members to report professionals who publish anti-vaccination information in contravention of health authority protocols. The NMBA has warned: ...

Daughter Sues Parents for Posting Baby Photos on Facebook


A young woman in Austria has taken the unprecedented step of suing her parents over childhood pictures they posted of her on Facebook. The 18-year-old woman, who cannot be named under Austrian laws, claims the photos caused her significant embarrassment, with the proceedings set to determine whether this amounts to a cause of action. The ...

The Pressures of Being a Prison Officer


The difficulties faced by prison officers in the context of a growing prison population is an area which is often ignored by the mainstream media. I recently visited the Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre (SWCC), where it was evident that officers are far more than just ‘key turners’, with one advising that she is required to ...

Victorian MPs May Support Euthanasia Laws


Victoria is getting closer to becoming the first Australian jurisdiction to legalise euthanasia. It has been reported that half of the Victorian cabinet is now publicly in favour of legalising euthanasia, with at least another quarter yet to declare their support but privately in favour. Premier Daniel Andrews has come out strongly in support of ...