The Global Initiative Network

GIN Member

John Walker

CEO, John Walker Crime Trends Analysis

In a nutshell, John Walker’s career began with rocket science, and descended into a life of crime, drugs and moneylaundering.

In his early career he developed mathematical models for space research, air, sea and land transportation analysis, and regional economic development. It was a decision to research the impacts of crime on patterns of regional development that led to fifteen years’ research with the Australian Institute of Criminology, followed by over 25 years as an independent consultant crime trends analyst. While at the AIC, he recognised the importance of addressing the economics of crime, including the costs to the community and the generation of income to criminals. This led to the development of Leontief-type models as the basis of the two main threads of his career: – forecasting trends in crime for modelling future demand for criminal justice system resources, and the much-referenced Walker Gravity Model for estimating the proceeds of crime and the extent and distribution of money laundering.

He has been described as a pioneer in the application of data analysis and modelling to criminology, the criminal justice system, and social issues such as homelessness. Among his clients have been the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the IMF, the EU and the World Bank as well as a host of Australian and other countries’ law enforcement and justice agencies. He has taught or conducted research with the Australian Universities of Melbourne, Wollongong and Western Sydney, the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), the Universities of Trento and the Catholic University of Milan (Italy), and the Peoples Public Security University (China).

Career Milestones

Forecasting trends in crime for modelling future demand for criminal justice system resources:

  • 1974 Analysis of the impacts of crime on urban development, in “Social Dysfunction & Relative Poverty in Melbourne”, Little, F. et al., Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works.
  • 1983 Developed prototype Prisoner Projection model, permitting workshopped scenario inputs: – “Projections of the Victorian Prison and Community Corrections Populations”, in Corrections Master Plan Victoria, Neilson Associates. These projections were updated several times between 1983 and 1999, and annually since then.
  • 1991-96 Member of the team developing the International Crime Victimisation Surveys: 1992 Trends & Issues No.39 – Estimates of the Costs of Crime in Australia, and 1995 Trends & Issues No.45 – Crimes against Businesses in Australia, Australian Institute of Criminology
  • 2003 Developed a model of future demand for drug treatment services in Victoria (Dept of Human Services)
  • 2004-5 Developed the first Human Resource and Financial Allocation Models for Victoria Police.
  • 2004-10 Extended the Prisoner Projections model to project trends in crime, arrests, charges, court cases and sentences, permitting workshopped scenario inputs from agencies across the CJS. “Criminal Justice System Projection Model”, Victoria.
  • 2010-ongoing Victorian Dept of Justice “Whole of Justice Strategic Planning Model”, builds on previous modelling to generate estimates of projected workloads and infrastructure requirements across over 25 agencies in the Victorian Criminal Justice System. In 2013-15, the projections were compared with five years of actual data, finding that projections were generally within +/-5% across the entire CJS This work forms the basis of the Department’s annual budgeting review process and is the focus of the annual Justice System Forecasting Forum.

The Walker Gravity Model for estimating the proceeds of crime and the extent and distribution of money laundering:

  • 1995 Developed a model of Money Laundering Flows in and through Australia, based on estimates of the proceeds of crime and the proportion laundered, “The Extent of Money Laundering in & through Australia”. Austrac.
  • 1998 Project leader for the “International Study on Firearm Regulation”. UN Office on Drug Control & Crime
  • 1999 Developed a model of Global Money Laundering Flows, building on the Australian methodology and a gravity model of trade. “How Big is Global Money Laundering?”, Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol3, 1
  • 2005 Developed (in collaboration with Thomas Pietschmann, UNODC) first estimates of the value of Illicit Drug Markets, World Drug Report 2005, Volume 1 Analysis, UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
  • 2009 Walker, J. and Unger B., Ch.23 – ‘Measuring Global Money Laundering: “The Walker Gravity Model”’, in Beekarry, N. (Ed.), Combating Money Laundering And Terrorism Finance: Past And Current Challenges, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • 2009-13 Applied gravity model to estimating The Economic and Legal Effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing Policy: Final Report, Utrecht, report prepared for the European Commission, DG Home, JLS/2009/ISEC/AG/087, University Of Utrecht.
  • 2010-11 UNODC, (in collaboration with Thomas Pietschmann, UNODC) “Illicit Financial Flows from Transnational Organised Crime”.
  • 2013 杨泾, Walker J., and 吴志明, “Where does China’s Dirty Money Outflow? – The Walker Gravity Model and Five Dimensions Analysis”, Chinese Journal of Financial Theory and Practice, July 2013.
  • 2013-15 Developed estimates of the extent of money laundering in South Africa, South African Financial Intelligence Centre.
  • 2014 “The impact of organised crime investments on the European legitimate economy”, in TransCrime, “From illegal markets to legitimate businesses: – the portfolio of organised crime in Europe”. University of Milan.
  • 2014-15 Developed a methodology to estimate the costs of serious and organised crime in Australia:- “Measuring the Costs of Serious and Organised Crime”. Australian Crime Commission
  • 2017 Invited Expert to the UNCTAD/UNODC Expert consultation on the SDG Indicator on Illicit financial flows.

--:-- | --:--