16 August 2012

Fakes and Tests

'Raid uncovers alleged fake ID racket in Turner' by Christopher Knaus in today's Canberra Times reports on my photoshopping - this time of NZ drivers licences for use by underage (or banned) nightclubbers -
An imperfect New Zealand driver’s licence, a strangely mismatched Australian accent, and cluey nightclub bouncers helped lead police to a local fake ID production lab, with a stash of over 100 fake IDs, two tasers, and a replica assault rifle. 
Canberra’s fraud squad yesterday raided a Turner apartment they suspected had acted as a major fake ID production hub since 2010. The raid, which was the result of a six month investigation, uncovered 130 remarkably genuine New Zealand and Californian driver’s licences and proof of age cards. 
An 18-year-old had been allegedly using the apartment to flog off the fake IDs for between $70 to $110 each. 
Police allege he used a sophisticated’’ printer and a computer to gradually perfect the bogus idntification over time. Police are unsure exactly how many of the IDs were in circulation, or if they were being distributed interstate.
The CT indicates that the photoshop kid's venture  ran into trouble when bouncers at Canberra nightspots "began to notice inconsistencies, including the lack of New Zealand accents"
"A lot of counterfeit licences had been produced in an attempt to get into nightclubs, or to purchase alcohol in liquor stores", detective acting sergeant Rachel Batterham said. "In turn, security staff contacted police, and this has started what has been a very lengthy and complex investigations.  It is fairly sophisticated in the fact that he has been doing this for a little while, and learning how to improve on the quality of the licenses."...
Police say they have a number of new leads as a result of those raids. Sergeant Batterham said the fake IDs could potentially have been used to get other forms of identification, set up bank accounts and get credit cards. Those in possession of the licences will also be spoken with by police, and could face possible charges.
No fun at Mooseheads for them!

Do we need more than an accent and unpleasant jokes about the amatory habits of NZ sheep? 'The British Citizenship Test: The Case for Reform’ by Thom Brooks in 83(3) The Political Quarterly (2012) 560-566 meanwhile argues that
mmigration presents a daunting challenge to successive British governments. The public ranks immigration as one of the leading policy issues after the economy and employment. There is also greater public support for stronger immigration controls than in many other countries. In response, government strategy has included the use of a citizenship test. While the citizenship test is widely acknowledged as one key part of immigration policy, the test has received surprisingly little critical analysis. This article is an attempt to bring greater attention to serious problems with the current test and to offer three recommendations for its revision and reform. First, there is a need to revise and update the citizenship test. Secondly, there is a need to expand the test to include questions about British history and basic law. The third recommendation is more wide-ranging: it is that we reconsider what we expect new citizens to know more broadly. The citizenship test should not be viewed as a barrier, but as a bridge. The focus should centre on what future citizens should be expected to know rather than how others might be excluded. The test should ensure that future citizens are suitably prepared for citizenship. There is an urgent need to improve the test and this should not be an opportunity wasted for the benefit of both citizens and future citizens alike.
For a local perspective see ‘The Australian Citizenship Test: Process and Rhetoric’ by Farida Fozdar and Brian Spittles in 55(4) Australian Journal of Politics and History (2009) 496-512 and the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) s 23A. see