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Water Operations Unit: Going to great depths


2019, ISSUE 1



Water Operations Unit



Operation Watercolour > Case study:

Jayson Doelz murder

> Our people:

Whyalla policing

2019, ISSUE 1


record-breaking hot summer encouraged many people to test the waters, leading to a wave of incidents requiring the extremely skilled and experienced Water Operations Unit. From drownings, to Operation River Safe and murder weapon searches, the 15-member specialist unit has called on its extensive training and resources to promote water safety across the state. The intensity and demands of the members’ diverse roles is compelling reading in this issue’s team profile feature. While the water is often unforgiving, roads can also be a dangerous place, as motorists on the Southern Expressway experienced last year with a spate of rock throwing incidents. Operation Watercolour responded with a coordinated and collective approach from a range of SAPOL areas and government agencies to nullify the offending and restore community confidence. Community safety is also the


Public Transport Safety Branch

> Crime trend:

Exercise Neighbour

focus of Public Transport Safety Branch, with new security initiatives, a highly visible police presence and a rapid response to crime being just the ticket to derail offenders. The branch is at the forefront of strategies to combat graffiti and vandalism attacks on the state’s public transport network, with its proactive approach sending a clear message that violence, property damage and antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated. Another area on the front foot is Major Crime Investigation Branch whose tenacity and diligence in solving cold cases under Operation Persist come to the fore in the Jayson Doelz murder case study. The extensive investigation culminated in guilty verdicts for three offenders nearly six years after the murder, highlighting the vital role of Crime Stoppers and emphasising SAPOL’s commitment to unravelling complex cold cases. Also in this issue, we meet Sergeant Sam Wells, a Commonwealth Games fencing gold medallist who has successfully combined elite sport and a policing career. We then venture to the Eyre Peninsula to give Whyalla policing its moment in the sun and highlight the exciting careers on offer in the reborn ‘steel city’.


ISSN 1448-1855 Editor and writer: Mathew Rodda


Editorial Team: Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey, Superintendent Christine Baulderstone, Karina Loxton and Mathew Rodda. Designed & Printed by: Graphic Print Group

> Crime prevention:

© Copyright South Australia Police 2019

From the Editor


Team profile:

Blueprint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License .

Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section;

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COVER Brevet Sergeant John Anderson in Kilsby’s Sinkhole at Moorak near Mount Gambier. Photo: Sergeant David Bacchus, Water Operations Unit.

Water Operations Unit; New Zealand Police; Forensic Response Section; Major Crime Investigation Branch; Brevet Sergeant Colin White; Steve McCawley; South Australian Police Historical Society. Blueprint is produced by SAPOL’s Awards, Marketing and Events Branch, Police Headquarters, GPO Box 1539, Adelaide 5001 Internal Postcode: 120 Tel: 08 732 23294 – Fax: 08 732 23289

Views and opinions expressed by contributors within this publication are not necessarily those of South Australia Police, the Commissioner of Police or the Government of South Australia. Articles, photographs and other contributions are welcome from every SAPOL employee. SAPOL treats indigenous cultures and beliefs with respect. To many communities it is disrespectful and offensive to depict persons who have died. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are warned this publication may contain such images and references.


People hear a lot about the Tour Down Under (TDU) and [...] Operation Nomad, but they probably don’t think about the logistics of such significant policing activities. Commissioner Grant Stevens with Sergeants Eamon Bull (left) and Brian Kitto. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Commissioner's foreword


ver summer people hear a lot about the Tour Down Under (TDU) and to a lesser extent, Operation Nomad, but they probably don’t think about the logistics of such significant policing activities. While the TDU generates millions of dollars for the state each year, Operation Nomad helps protect the community from the devastating cost of deliberately lit bushfires. TDU turned 21 this year and every SAPOL employee who has helped keep the participants, spectators and the travelling public safe has contributed to that milestone. This includes the planners who start preliminary work in July when the routes are announced and the officers deployed every day on foot, motorcycle, bicycle or in vehicles, amongst the peleton and at static points along the routes. Every year SAPOL’s professionalism and expertise is applauded by Mike Turtur, Race Director, and the international Chief Commissaries. Mr Turtur has frequently commented the event could not happen without

SAPOL assistance and the Commissaries have stated “it is the safest event in the world and are in awe of SAPOL members and the rolling road closure concept.” The concept was in fact introduced by SAPOL for the inaugural TDU, with Senior Sergeant Harry McCallum and Sergeant John Lapworth instrumental in its development. Traditionally large cycling events like the Tour de France employed total road closures using hundreds of police covering the entire route. Of particular note, Senior Sergeant McCallum led the traffic planning for the first 15 years and Senior Sergeant Chris Holland has taken the reins for the past six years; and Sergeants Brian Kitto and Eamon Bull have now worked all 21 TDU events. As the event has grown, SAPOL’s commitment has had to keep pace. About 15 years ago, we introduced bicycle patrols to focus on spectator safety. Gaining UCI status and Lance Armstrong’s participation in 2009 saw an exponential growth in the TDU and significantly increased the

security and safety issues for SAPOL. In 2010 SAPOL won an award for occupational health and safety best practice for its management of the TDU. The event continues to expand with the women’s tour being added in 2015, extending SAPOL’s involvement from six stages to 10. Just as SAPOL developed the rolling road closure, SAPOL led the nation with the launch of Operation Nomad in 1992 to reduce bushfires caused by deliberate, reckless and negligent activity. It has since been showcased nationally and internationally and copied by other jurisdictions. Nomad is SAPOL’s largest annual operation running from September to May, deploying patrols across the state on days of extreme or catastrophic conditions. Emergency and Major Event Section, along with State Intelligence Branch and State Community Engagement Section, coordinate the state response across a broad range of operational and support areas, which includes activating Persons Of Interest

(POI) management plans, crime prevention activities and local and state command structures. High or significant risk POIs are actively monitored across every district and local service area during Nomad, and between November and December 2018 there were 106 police actions recorded, such as arrests, adult cautioning and expiation notices. Our commitment to these events and the professionalism displayed by all staff involved goes a long way to enhancing the vibrancy and safety of the state. These major activities are of course followed by ‘Mad March’ which carries its own unique demands on our services. I want to personally thank everyone directly involved – those behind the scenes and importantly, those who continue to fulfil the rest of our core functions to a consistently high standard.



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Last year Water Operations conducted more than 360 marinerelated taskings spanning the state from Ceduna in the west to Port MacDonnell in the south-east. 2

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Disoriented and in complete darkness, Brevet Sergeant Glen McKenzie slowly and methodically searches through mud and silt at the bottom of the river bed.


elying purely on his sense of touch to find evidentiary material in the murkiest depths, he calls upon his skills and guile, while receiving directions from a colleague on the river bank controlling the search line he’s attached to. The intensity of ‘black water diving’ in uninviting, nil visibility water is just one of the many pressures, dangers and extraordinary physical demands members of Water Operations Unit must confront on a regular basis. Brevet Sergeant McKenzie has experienced the full extent of tasks during his 17-year water policing career. Previous exposure to both recreational and army diving piqued his interest in this gruelling area of policing, one which he still thoroughly enjoys today. “I work with great people and experience a diverse range of tasks. One minute you’re conducting regular equipment maintenance, the next minute you’re heading to the west coast or up the River Murray for a large-scale

Brevet Sergeant Darian Leske recovers a firearm during a search. OPPOSITE PAGE: Brevet Sergeants Neil Innes and Glen McKenzie emerge from contaminated water wearing protective environmental suits. Photos: Water Operations Unit. BELOW: A team member dives into coastal waters. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

search or diving operation,” he said. “Every job is challenging in its own way, particularly those where we get away as a group and use the skills we’ve trained for.” Brevet Sergeant McKenzie is one of 15 members in the Water Operations Unit, a multi-functional specialist unit within Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Group. It was officially formed in September 1995 with the merger of the Underwater Recovery Section and Water Police. The close-knit group performs vital roles across the state including marine search management, underwater search and recovery, maritime policing (both commercial and recreational) as well as general operational policing.

The unit also investigates diver-related and other marine-type deaths and incidents, and plays an integral role in marine education, compliance and enforcement. Last year Water Operations conducted more than 360 marine-related taskings spanning the state from Ceduna in the west to Port MacDonnell in the south-east. “We support all types of police operations, from assisting Major Crime Investigation Branch with searches for evidence and body recoveries, to promoting safety in all waterways and coastal waters via regular patrols,” said the unit’s Officer in Charge, Senior Sergeant Phil Grear. “Divers can be called upon to locate all types of murder

weapons, firearms, proceeds from crime and the occasional motor vehicle.”

TESTING THE WATERS Training is conducted on a weekly basis to ensure skills are kept at a high standard. The team travels to the Limestone Coast in February each year to perform deep diver training, honing their skills in the unique sinkhole environment at depths ranging from 30 to 50 metres. “Divers practice skills such as controlled search patterns; the locating, mapping and recording of various simulated search items; and photography and recovery of located objects for evidentiary purposes,” Brevet Sergeant McKenzie said. “We also undertake training on the River Murray in a nil visibility environment. It can be a week-long black water operation where we conduct multiple dives over multiple days, doing simulated searches for bodies, firearms or other evidence.” The thorough training and meticulous approach to safety has made Water Operations one of the most incident-free water police units in Australia. “Considering the nature of our work and frequency of operations, we have an excellent safety record,” Brevet Sergeant McKenzie said. Team members are trained to use sophisticated

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software called SARMAP which uses live information on weather, tides and winds to predict the movements of missing vessels, persons and objects. The unit is also suitably equipped to perform open-sea search and rescue missions with a fleet of four boats, ranging from a high speed inflatable boat used primarily for diving and shallow-water searches to the unit’s flagship, the 20-metre ‘Investigator II’, an all-weather patrol vessel used for long-range operations. “The unit’s extensive training and resources come to the fore during search and rescue incidents. We often coordinate large scale searches for missing people, working closely with volunteer marine rescue and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority along with air and sea assets,” Brevet Sergeant McKenzie said.

A STERN TEST It was a hectic summer for the unit, responding to several significant incidents, including tragic drownings at Glenelg and Parsons Beach. “Locating a drowning victim is upsetting but I take some solace from finding the body as it helps the grieving families with closure. Thankfully most of our jobs have a positive


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outcome,” Brevet Sergeant McKenzie said. The experienced member was one of the responders to a distress call from a vessel at Myponga Beach in March last year. “Two females were on board a recreational vessel at anchor, with another boat located around 5-8 metres away. Two males had attempted to paddle a 3.5 metre inflatable tender vessel from one to the other but were blown off course by strong winds,” he said. “All they had on board their tender vessel were two oars. They had no other safety equipment and were dressed in shorts and t-shirts. “We immediately commenced search planning in conjunction with local volunteer marine rescue.” Vessels were soon on the scene, with a rescue

helicopter requested. As darkness neared, sea conditions became difficult due to strong winds. “The helicopter picked up the males after two hours. They had drifted three nautical miles in that time and were found after sunset. Later on that night the rescued males sought us out

to thank us,” Brevet Sergeant McKenzie said. “This result highlighted the expertise and experience of our members, which combined with our advanced technology and resources, gives people who encounter trouble in the state’s waters the confidence that we will find them.” 

The Investigator II patrol vessel, and above, with Brevet Sergeant John Anderson at the helm. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Looking beneath the surface W

orking in unpredictable natural environments has its inherent dangers, with divers often exposed to raging rivers, sink holes, underwater hazards such as fallen trees and rubbish, and shark infested waters. This places extreme physical and mental demands on each of the unit’s members, as Brevet Sergeant Darian Leske can attest. “The underwater environment is a hostile place. We’re often required to spend extended time in uncomfortable situations, often in very cold water which can put physical pressure on your body when you’re not moving or doing much,” he said. “Deep diving involves the risks of decompression illness and nitrogen narcosis. It can range from feeling slightly intoxicated underwater, to at its worst being a crippling condition, which impedes judgement and coordination. Coastal diving has the dangers of marine predators as well as swells and tides.” Brevet Sergeant Leske experienced nitrogen narcosis during a recent training dive in a sinkhole in the state’s south-east. “My vision started closing in a bit, while I was down 50 metres in a cave environment,” he said. “My training enabled me to recognise what

was occurring and relay the situation to the dive supervisor. In the end my dive partner assisted me out of the situation and I was fine once I had ascended a few metres. “In these situations it’s important to remain task focused and plan your dive carefully. We face similar challenges with marine jobs conducted during adverse weather conditions where we need to make quick decisions and execute plans at short notice.” The newest unit member joined in late 2013 after completing the gruelling selection process. Members must successfully complete a rigorous training regime comprising an initial four-day assessment which judges aptitude, confidence, water skills and fitness; a fourweek diver training course and a three-week marine course. “The qualification course was the most challenging thing I’ve done in SAPOL. Training is quite intense and rigorous when you start but as your skillset and experience grows it becomes less demanding,” Brevet Sergeant Leske said. “There is a vast amount of experience within the unit, so I draw upon that wherever I can to increase my skills and knowledge.”

There is a vast amount of experience within the unit, so I draw upon that wherever I can to increase my skills and knowledge.

Brevet Sergeant Darian Leske in the River Murray at Cobdogla. Photo: Water Operations Unit.






The two sides of Sergeant Sam Wells. OPPOSITE PAGE: Sergeant Wells (black top) coaching Australian team member Will Campbell. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.


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Having a successful elite sporting career prior to becoming a police officer can be a double-edged sword, but for Sergeant Sam Wells it’s worth its weight in gold. In this case, it’s the gold medal he won at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.


he Northern District patrols officer claimed gold while representing Wales in the Men’s Team Sabre fencing event during the Commonwealth Fencing Championships held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As one of the Commonwealth Games’ affiliated sports, it was held outside of the 2006 host city Melbourne. Sergeant Wells’ success was the culmination of years honing his skills in the centuries old sport that provides a stringent test both mentally and physically. As an impressionable 12-year-old he was intrigued by a school talk from a fencer. He soon started training twice a week with a local club in Wales and quickly progressed to weekly training for the under 16 Welsh national team. “It took 90 minutes to travel to national team training. The extensive travel and prohibitive costs involved in fencing makes it an elitist sport in Great Britain but I was lucky enough to never be charged for lessons from my junior and national coaches,” Sergeant Wells said. The talented junior moved through the ranks of under 15 and under 18, finishing third in the under 18 British Championships, before making the senior Wales team. “I was also selected for the under 15 Great Britain team but couldn’t afford the participation fees so I wasn’t selected again despite being able to defeat team

members,” Sergeant Wells said. At his junior peak, Sergeant Wells performed in all three fencing styles – foil, epee and sabre – before electing to specialise in sabre for the senior Wales team. “Sabre is a cutting weapon, with the target area being everything above the waist. While all fencing is energetic, sabre is particularly fast and furious,” he said. In 2005 Sergeant Wells decided to head to Australia for a year of travel after completing a management degree at university. He joined the Australian fencing circuit and was selected for Wales’ 2006 Commonwealth Games team. “Getting to the Commonwealth Games was always my goal. I was talented but not amazing so I never thought I’d win a medal of any description,” he said. Only five weeks into his Australian sojourn, the Welsh tourist met a police officer by the name of Simone and decided to remain in Adelaide with her. When his visa ran out, Sergeant Wells and his future wife moved to Wales for 11 months before returning to Adelaide permanently in 2007. For the next three years Sergeant Wells worked in a range of jobs in various locations before pursuing his

childhood dream of becoming a police officer. “Ironically my first job in Adelaide was building fences. I also worked in a pub on Kangaroo Island, at Mitre 10 in Port Augusta, in a Telstra shop in Kadina, and built steel frame houses in Moonta,” he said. Sergeant Wells began his cadet course at the Police Academy in April 2010 and graduated eight months later. “I was posted to Port Pirie while Simone was working at Kadina, which meant a 100-kilometre commute to work each day for both of us from our Port Broughton home,” he said. “I did that for two years before moving to Port Wakefield and then on to Elizabeth Police Station four years ago.” The father-of-two still maintains an active interest in fencing, coaching children at the Charles Sturt Fencing Club and mentoring the next generation of elite fencers at the national level. “I have been coaching for the past four years and have developed a great working relationship with the Australian Fencing Federation,” Sergeant Wells said. “I coached the Australian under 17 and under 20 teams at the South East

Asian Pacific Championships in Manila two years ago and was team manager for the Australian fencing team that competed in the Commonwealth Championships in Canberra in November. “I also travelled to England with the cadets and junior Commonwealth Games squads.” Sergeant Wells credits fencing for helping him to stay relaxed and focused in his policing career. “Sabre fencing is complicated and relies on strategic thinking. The speed of a point in sabre can be as fast as a bullet therefore your mind reacts without thinking,” he said. “This experience is invaluable for policing as it helps me to stay calm and focused on the task at hand, especially in busy and challenging situations. “Maintaining an involvement in fencing through coaching helps me balance the demands of work and family. Putting on my fencing gear and stepping onto the piste allows me to mentally switch off and just be in my own world.” 

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The operation resulted in 24 arrests, 18 cautions, 18 reports and 84 expiations. 8

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Sergeant Russell Stone keeps an eye on the Southern Expressway. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Driving at high speed along the Southern Expressway, the last thing a motorist expects is a rock or large missile indiscriminately hurled at their vehicle. Unfortunately the threat of this appalling and extremely dangerous behaviour was a reality for thousands of people during their travels on the main arterial route through Adelaide’s southern suburbs last year.


etween January and June 2018 there were 30 Police Incident Reports of alleged rock throwing on the Southern Expressway. In response to this spate of rock attacks, SAPOL launched Operation Watercolour, which ran from June to September 2018. “The operation’s objective was to reassure and protect the community by identifying and apprehending suspects using a coordinated response from a range of SAPOL resources,” said the Officer in Charge of Southern District, Superintendent Yvette Clark. “It involved high visibility proactive policing tactics combined with police helicopter patrols, intelligence reviews and checking local persons of interest. “Bicycle patrols, mounted and dog operations, motorcycle officers and patrols – both overt and covert – monitored the Southern Expressway during the operation.”

During Operation Watercolour there were 102 incidents of reported vehicle damage on the Southern Expressway. Fourteen were confirmed as ‘throw/drop object on roadway’ incidents with the remaining deemed to be road debris being lifted by other traffic and hitting vehicles. The operation resulted in 24 arrests, 18 cautions, 18 reports and 84 expiations. Perpetrators faced charges ranging from ‘throw missile’ to ‘acts to endanger life’ that can carry a term of imprisonment of up to 18 years. “The collective and coordinated input from diverse SAPOL operational areas including STAR Group, Public Transport Safety Branch, State Tactical Response Group and Media and Public Engagement Section ensured a cohesive and rapid response to reports of rock throwing,” Superintendent Clark said. “Although the operation has now finished, Southern District CIB continues to strategically monitor and action information and intelligence received.” Community engagement was paramount in allaying the public’s fears. In July SAPOL hosted a social media PACE Forum, with the forum’s video

receiving more than 19 600 views on the SAPOL Facebook page. Southern District Crime Prevention Section delivered a presentation to 29 schools within close proximity to the Southern Expressway covering issues including risk, safety and the consequences of throwing rocks at vehicles. “SAPOL created a poster addressing throwing objects onto roadways. This was broadly disseminated and displayed in schools, shopping centres, youth centres and public noticeboards,” Superintendent Clark said. “Around 2000 homes in the vicinity of the Southern Expressway received letters seeking community and school support through their social media contacts to encourage parents and children to discuss the issue and report anything which may help police stop the offences occurring or identify the offenders.”

LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED The Southern District Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) was at the forefront of efforts to reduce the community’s fear of crime caused by the incidents. The NPT first became involved in early February

2018 when a concrete Telstra cover, weighing approximately 30 kilograms, was thrown from the Honeypot Road overpass striking the bonnet of a passing motor vehicle. “The NPT provided support and community reassurance through a doorknock of the immediate area and high visibility patrols on foot and in marked vehicles of surrounding streets and

Senior Constable Andron Abdul and SC1C Scott Allison patrol Honeypot Road, Huntfield Heights. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section. ABOVE: Rock damage on a victim’s vehicle.

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footpaths next to the overpass,” Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Scott Allison said. After further reports of vehicles being struck by objects, the NPT conducted an investigation which led to juvenile and

“The team conducted thorough investigations and kept in regular contact with various government agencies, including Housing SA and care facilities for Children under the Guardianship of the Minister, along with local Members of Parliament and Onkaparinga Council. We also facilitated significant community liaison with local Indigenous leaders. “This confirmed to affected


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adult offenders being arrested and charged. “We regularly monitored those arrested to ensure they were not responsible for any further reports of rock throwing,” SC1C Allison said. “As the juveniles involved in some incidents attended local high schools, we worked closely with the Department

for Education and school management. “We also established effective working relationships with the parents of juvenile offenders, who were supportive of police action.” Throughout Operation Watercolour the NPT investigated intelligence

communities that police were acting in their interests.” In response to the incidents, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has implemented a range of safety measures including anti-throw screens on bridges over the Southern Expressway, new and upgraded CCTV cameras and the installation of steel mesh covering over loose rocks. “SAPOL has worked closely with DPTI to number the bridges along the Southern Expressway,

making it easier for motorists to report incidents and for police to rapidly respond,” Superintendent Clark said. “We met with DPTI on a regular basis to address environmental design issues, prevention and policing response strategies as well as community engagement. “Operation Watercolour is an excellent example of how police can work with the community and government agencies to achieve a common outcome which improves community safety.”

submissions and Crime Stoppers’ actions, and reviewed computer aided dispatch (CAD) tasks. “The NPT reassured the public by attending local schools and having a continuous presence in the areas of most activity,” SC1C Allison said.

The NPT reassured the public by attending local schools and having a continuous presence in the areas of most activity.

SC1C Scott Allison monitors traffic travelling under bridge 13 on the Southern Expressway. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.





SC1C Robert Poole and PD Kira keep their eyes on the ball in their quest for success. Photo courtesy New Zealand Police.

It’s only the second time the winner’s trophy has left New Zealand in 20 years. This is a huge achievement considering we are one of the smallest dog units in the region. 12

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Police Dog (PD) Ruger has proven that every dog has its day, by unleashing his talents alongside handler Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Craig Charles to achieve success at the Australasian Police Dog Championships.

SC1C Craig Charles and PD Ruger lead the way at the Championships. Photo courtesy New Zealand Police.


eld in Wellington, New Zealand from 13 – 18 October 2018, the event saw Dog Operations Unit members join 13 handlers and dogs from New Zealand, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Federal Police. The teams competed in exercise scenarios based on the skills and decision making they need in their operational roles. PD Ruger and SC1C Charles won the individual patrol dog championship after delivering a polished performance over four days of intense competition to edge out Leading Senior Constable Heath Drew and Ike from Victoria Police. SAPOL fetched a second accolade at the Championships with PD Kira and handler SC1C Robert Poole finishing runner-up in the drug detection category. Officer in Charge of Dog Operations, Senior Sergeant Kurt Newcombe, was proud to see SAPOL earn bragging rights over the Kiwis, dubbed the ‘Paw Blacks’. “It’s only the second time the winner’s trophy has left New Zealand in 20 years. This is a huge achievement considering we are one of the smallest dog units in the region,” he said. “This success reflects the work Dog Operations has undertaken in recent years as an active and driving participant in several national forums in the areas of

management, breeding and development. “This has created a greater willingness amongst jurisdictions to share information, training methodologies and breeding pools. I believe it has enhanced our ability to perform at a high level and earn respect from larger units.” Finishing leader of the pack was even more admirable for SC1C Charles and PD Ruger considering their challenging path to victory. “We were selected to compete in the 2016 Australasian Police Dog Championships in Victoria but three weeks before the event Ruger suffered a serious lung infection which ruled him out,” SC1C Charles said. “This time around Ruger was in great health but operational requirements prevented us from undertaking additional training and preparation for

the event.” Seven-year-old PD Ruger is now a veteran after first linking up with SC1C Charles as a nine-month-old puppy in 2012 and then graduating in February 2013. Their strong understanding and teamwork came to the fore in the six-team competition which tested dogs in exercises such as obedience, distance control, formal retrieval, agility and down stay. “The next level of the event comprised single structured skill exercises such as tracking, article search, criminal work, recall and call-off. These all tested preexisting skill bases with the main pressures being running out of time, losing points for extra commands, or losing all points if the dog didn’t recall,” SC1C Charles said. “The final level featured several scenario-based exercises which tested all of the above skill sets, but within a dynamic changing

environment. “Competing across four days was mentally exhausting and also challenging, with the pressure of representing the unit and SAPOL in an international event.” While the competition was fierce, the Championships provided an invaluable opportunity for participants to discuss operational matters and learn from each other. “It was a great way to benchmark ourselves against one another, to see how each of our jurisdictions operate and build partnerships, while also enjoying some keen rivalry,” SC1C Charles said. After not letting his shot at glory go begging, PD Ruger arrived home to find a large bone waiting for him. “He thoroughly deserved a treat after enhancing the unit’s reputation on the international stage,” SC1C Charles said. 

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MAIN PHOTO: The scene of the unprovoked assault at Pooraka. BELOW: Jayson Doelz. Photos: MCIB and Forensic Response Section.

A VIOLENT AND SENSELESS DEATH Forcefully placed in a car boot, a terrified 27-year-old father spends around 30 kilometres screaming, protesting and desperately trying to escape the clutches of his tormenters.


fter successfully manipulating the boot lock, he leaps from a moving car and sprints for freedom down a roadside embankment where he is set upon by two of the car’s occupants and savagely attacked and murdered.


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What began as a vicious assault in a house at Pooraka had reached a tragic end on the side of a Kersbrook road. For the victim, Jayson Doelz, his harrowing ordeal was over but it was just the start of an extensive cold case investigation that would culminate in guilty verdicts for three offenders nearly six years later. Doelz’s body was found on the roadside at Kersbrook by a man walking his dog

on 12 January 2012 – three days after the murder. Doelz had sustained more than 80 injuries including nine separate stab wounds, mainly to his face, neck and shoulder. He was wearing no clothing on the upper part of his body and had no wallet or phone to identify him. The first detective on the scene was Detective Brevet Sergeant Alex McLean, then working at Mount Barker CIB. Two years later he was seconded to Major Crime Investigation Branch (MCIB) to work on the murder investigation which by then had become a cold case. In May 2015 a review was conducted under MCIB’s Operation Persist, which led to an appeal to the public for information via Crime Stoppers and Channel 9 in January 2016. “On 12 January 2016 we

received a breakthrough with vital information provided following the appeal. This initiated a sequence of events that eventually led to the identification of the offenders and location of the crimes,” Detective Brevet Sergeant McLean said. Operation Provincial was soon formed within MCIB to progress the investigation to a tactical phase. This involved members of MCIB (Team 3) supported by Investigation Support Branch, Telephone Intercept Section, Surveillance and other specialist areas regularly involved in homicide investigations. “The Crime Stoppers information led us to two witnesses who subsequently cooperated fully in the investigation. The witnesses were present at the time of Doelz’s murder but were both granted immunity from

On 26 May 2016 detectives searched a Pooraka address which had been identified as the location where the initial assault had occurred.

BELOW: Convicted murderers (left to right) Chad Badcock, Kym Barnes and Shane Muckray; MCIB members at the Kersbrook crime scene. Photos: MCIB.

prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions in return for their evidence,” Detective Brevet Sergeant McLean said. On 26 May 2016 detectives searched a Pooraka address which had been identified as the location where the initial assault had occurred. The investigation continued over several months until MCIB detectives arrested three offenders on 2 September 2016 after the two witnesses provided statements. Chad Badcock, 31, Kym Wayne Barnes, 32, and Shane Matthew Muckray, 28 were arrested and jointly charged with Doelz’s murder. “The trio was part of a close group of people who were involved in drugs and had organised crime links. Two of them had significant criminal histories,” Detective Brevet Sergeant McLean said.

“During the investigation we discovered that many people knew who had murdered Doelz. Threats such as physical retribution and burning down houses were made to others after the murder to discourage them from contacting police. “After their arrest, Badcock, Barnes and Muckray refused to cooperate with police and showed no remorse for their actions. All three remained silent and didn’t answer any police questions. They didn’t give evidence during their trial and haven’t said anything to this day.”

sunglasses that he was trying to sell or swap for drugs. Doelz, a drug user with a history of minor drug and theft related offences, noticed a pair of sunglasses had gone missing and rummaged through the house looking for them. This upset Badcock who thought Doelz was going through other people’s possessions. The house owner encouraged Doelz to leave, promising she would

find and return the glasses, but Badcock remained angry. Thinking he was a “lowlife thief”, Badcock and Barnes lured Doelz back to the Pooraka house with the intention of “bashing” him. The duo subjected the slightly built Doelz to a prolonged and brutal beating. Badcock punched and elbowed him in the head until he was unconscious then choked him with an AV cable. Doelz lapsed

THE TORMENT BEGINS The cowardly and depraved murder was sparked when Doelz visited a Pooraka residence in January 2012 with his stock of designer

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in and out of consciousness as the men continued the assault, tied his hands behind his back, smoked his cigarettes and threw water in his face. Badcock and Barnes discussed using a compound bow on Doelz but another person at the scene had hidden the arrows. After torturing and racially abusing Doelz, the two men called for Muckray and another man to bring a car to the Pooraka house. Doelz was struck in the head with a shovel and then forced into the boot of a Ford Falcon. As they drove towards Kersbrook, the occupants sang along to the rap song “We Murderers, Baby”, ignoring their beaten, terrified victim’s pleas to be spared for the sake of his young son. “During the journey, whenever Doelz made noise, the rear middle seat was pulled down and he would be assaulted again, usually by Badcock,” Detective Brevet Sergeant McLean said. “Doelz tried to escape the boot, but those inside the car were alerted by the warning light on the dashboard and


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he was assaulted again. Doelz was successful on his second attempt but the driver pulled over and three of the car’s occupants chased Doelz down a roadside embankment. “Badcock and Barnes attacked Doelz with knives while Muckray kept lookout from the top of the embankment. They returned to the vehicle, making no effort to hide the murdered body which was left lying at the side of the road among trees and leaf litter.” Crucial to the murder case were two significant witnesses to the Kersbrook attack. “A local farmer who drove past saw three males beating another male on the ground. A female motorist saw one male outside the car striking something on the ground,” Detective Brevet Sergeant McLean said. “Their testimony was important in the murder case, especially the woman who drove past second. She described the Falcon driver as a slim person wearing a baseball cap with short hair. This was significant as the defence said in court that the driver was involved in the murder act. “She confirmed the driver never got out of the car as she drove past. Her description of the driver was crucial as he was a

methamphetamine user and weighed around 60 kilograms whereas the three offenders were bigger, muscle-bound guys.” After the murder, the three killers had their clothing dumped in a culvert near Two Wells. In late 2013 an associate of theirs arranged for the Ford Falcon to be destroyed. “The car was cleaned with acid, had all the seals and trims removed, stored for a year, repainted and resprayed inside the boot, put on the back of a low loader and taken to Innamincka where it was buried and burned in a rubbish pit,” Detective Brevet Sergeant McLean said. “We determined there would be minimal likelihood of forensic evidence in the Falcon, and had enough statements proving the sequence of events therefore we didn’t recover the vehicle.”

MAIN PHOTO: The Kersbrook crime scene.

As they drove towards Kersbrook, the occupants sang along to the rap song “We Murderers, Baby”, ignoring their beaten, terrified victim’s pleas to be spared for the sake of his young son.

OPPOSITE PAGE: A Ford Falcon boot; the murder weapon; Doelz’s bloodied sneaker and jeans; a blood-stained tree at the murder scene. Photos: Forensic Response Section.

INVESTIGATIVE WORK PAYS OFF In December 2017 all three men charged with the murder of Jayson Doelz were found guilty in the Supreme Court of South Australia. It took the 12-person jury less than two hours to reach their unanimous verdict. “We wouldn’t have secured guilty verdicts without at least one of the two prosecution witnesses testifying. The jury was counselled about the dangers of accepting their evidence due to immunity,” Detective Brevet Sergeant McLean said. “The defence urged jurors to reject their testimony, labelling them unreliable and confessed liars. Fortunately other witnesses and the pathologist provided enough information so that their accounts could be believed.” Doelz’s family and friends cheered as Justice David Lovell sentenced unrepentant, remorseless murder ringleader Badcock to a mandatory life prison term with a non-parole period of 32-and-a-half years (including three-and-a-half

years of unexpired parole for other offending). The applause continued as his coconspirator Barnes was jailed for at least 26 years, while Muckray received 20 years’ non-parole for aiding and abetting in the murder. During sentencing, Justice Lovell said there could be no excuse for the unimaginable suffering and humiliation Doelz endured in his torturous final hours. “It has never been satisfactorily explained why he was so savagely attacked, tormented and murdered. You committed this crime with no semblance of normal human emotion,” he said. For MCIB detectives, the outcome was the culmination of several years of patient and diligent investigative work. “This success highlights the critical role of Crime Stoppers and our tenacity to solve cold cases,” Detective Brevet Sergeant McLean said. “This is one of several cold case successes since Operation Persist was initiated in 2015. Cold cases are under constant review – all it takes is one communication with Crime Stoppers to provide the missing piece of information that could solve a case and provide a victim’s loved ones with closure.” 

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A PLACE THAT WILL Accessible ocean shores, vivid scenery, distinctive outback landscapes, natural wonders and a warm climate featuring more than 300 days of sunshine every year. It’s hard to believe this is all located only 396 kilometres northwest of Adelaide. But for police officers working in Whyalla, this is their daily life.

prosecution. According to Eyre Western Local Service Area’s Operations Inspector Mark Hubbard, policing in Whyalla and metropolitan Adelaide is quite similar. “Like most communities, Whyalla experiences crime issues and challenges such as domestic violence, and volume crimes associated with drugs and alcohol,” he said.


t the 2016 Census, Whyalla was the third most populous city in South Australia with an urban population of 21 751.This includes 67 police officers providing a number of

frontline and support services including response patrols, criminal investigations, family violence investigations, crime scene investigation, crime prevention, intelligence, highway patrols and

My family wanted to experience country life and professionally I wanted to experience the challenge of policing in regional and remote areas. 18

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‘STEEL’ YOUR HEART Inspector Hubbard moved to Whyalla with his wife and two young children in February 2017. “My family wanted to experience country life and professionally I wanted to experience the challenge of policing in regional and remote areas,” he said. “It’s difficult to appreciate the impact that geographical distance can have on resourcing decisions and operational outcomes.”

Inspector Hubbard appreciates the excellent facilities, public parks and open spaces on offer in the city formerly known as Hummock Hill. “We live 30 seconds from the beach and I am one minute from work. When you take into account commute times in Adelaide, my decision to transfer to Whyalla has allowed me to reclaim an hour each day,” he said. “Another advantage of living in Whyalla is the job opportunities for partners of police officers, particularly in government departments and in education, with campuses for University of South Australia and TAFE SA, along with a new $100 million high school currently being built.”

Affectionately known as the ‘Steel City’, Whyalla has a proud industrial history. The 2017 sale of the Whyalla steelworks to enigmatic British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has transformed the city’s

fortunes and generated real positivity and excitement. Recently plans were unveiled to build one of the biggest steelworks in the world in Whyalla, which could quadruple the city’s population. A $145 million intensive horticulture project,

MAIN PHOTO: Inspector Mark Hubbard at Point Lowly Lighthouse in Whyalla. OPPOSITE PAGE (TOP): Probationary Constable Tor Butler and Constable Sophie Matthews interact with local children. Photos: Brevet Sergeant Colin White. ABOVE: Constable Kaya Air and Tor Butler with Sanjeev Gupta.




a new $45 million hotel on the foreshore and a $6 million green organics recycling plant are also in the pipeline, heralding a renaissance for the Spencer Gulf region. Constable Sophie Matthews has witnessed the rebirth of the once struggling town, after arriving in Whyalla in 2016 for her first posting after graduating.

“I chose Whyalla after seeing images of the beautiful beach and local dolphins, and hearing extremely positive stories from officers who had undertaken country postings,” she said. “The beaches here are just as amazing in person, especially Point Lowly which feels like your very own private

paradise with its crystal blue water and serenity. It’s a great way to unwind outside of work.” The Crime Prevention Section member believes working in Whyalla has fast tracked her policing career. “It’s given me valuable experience and the opportunity to move into an area of policing that I love so early in my career,” Constable Matthews said. “I enjoy working with youth and trying to make a difference in their lives. I get to be proactive and work with vulnerable children who may not have had the best

Constable Sophie Matthews and Probationary Constable Tor Butler enjoy the Whyalla sunshine. Photo: Brevet Sergeant Colin White. ABOVE: Constable Matthews meets a local dolphin.

I enjoy working with people who are keen, hard-working and excited about their jobs. People here are passionate about reducing crime and I absolutely love that. 20

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upbringing and develop positive relationships with them.” While Constable Matthews sees cheaper living costs, including half price rent for government housing, as a major attraction of working in Whyalla, it’s the commitment and work ethic of colleagues that most impresses her. “Whyalla is a police station where every patrol officer is eager to be proactive and make the town a safer place,” she said. “I enjoy working with people who are keen, hard-working and excited about their jobs. People here are passionate about reducing crime and I absolutely love that.” 

Taking a shine to Whyalla T

he sunny weather and picturesque beaches of Whyalla are a world away from the land-locked European nation of Belarus which receives up to 125 days of snow a year. Probationary Constable Tor Butler has experienced both extremes, having lived in Minsk, Belarus for two years before returning to Australia in 2015 and embarking on a new career in policing which saw him posted to Whyalla in January 2018. “I chose to start my SAPOL career in Whyalla as I had a strong desire to work in country policing,” he said. “I grew up in rural Victoria and always had great admiration for emergency services members who supported my community.” As a general duties officer, Probationary

Constable Butler works shifts and responds to all types of jobs requiring police assistance. “My role is not dissimilar to other probationary constables across SAPOL, however for those of us lucky enough to be posted to the country we have the challenges of learning a wider range of skills and a greater training workload because of our broad range of taskings,” he said. “I also participate in community engagement programs, with my favourite being the Road Safety Centre sessions organised and

run for school age children living on the Eyre Peninsula.” Probationary Constable Butler, his Belarusian-born wife and three-year-old son have thoroughly enjoyed their first year in Whyalla. “Moving to a new location as a young family with no established support networks seemed daunting but we immediately made friends through my colleagues at Whyalla Police Station and we were warmly welcomed into the wider community,” he said. “My wife joined a local netball club and I joined a soccer team. “Living in Whyalla has given us an opportunity to explore this unique area of Australia. We regularly take camping trips north towards the Flinders Ranges and

south towards Port Lincoln and Ceduna in our old Land Rover.” As an officer who intends to remain in Whyalla for the long-term, Probationary Constable Butler encourages graduates and those seeking a career change to seriously consider a locale that offers a great work-life balance. “Living here exposes you to some of Australia’s most pristine coastline with communities as welcoming as any I’ve come across,” he said. “Working in Whyalla places officers on the frontline of a city that can at times be described as ‘rough around the edges’. This provides a phenomenal training environment for younger officers like me.” 





IN ITS TRACKS Keeping the community safe is definitely in the train of thought of Public Transport Safety Branch, with new security initiatives and a highly visible police presence being just the ticket for reducing crime on the public transport network.


cting Officer in Charge of Public Transport Safety Branch, Senior Sergeant First Class (SS1C) Robyn Heyward, believes increased police visibility on all transit routes and a more rapid response to crimes on public transport are paying off. “The branch is focused on maintaining a safe and secure environment for the travelling public,” she said. “We work closely with the Department of Planning,


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Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), Wilson Security, Taxi Council SA, and the major bus providers, Torrens Transit and Southlink, to develop security and safety arrangements to effectively deal with antisocial and criminal behaviours across public transport.” Public Transport Safety Branch and DPTI Passenger Service Assistants regularly conduct special operations targeting fare evasion, graffiti and antisocial behaviour. These operations feature Dog Operations Unit members with their passive alert drug detection dogs, along with plain clothes officers and DPTI staff, and involve stations closing down and

saturating stations and interchanges, giving offenders little chance to evade police. “Operations often catch people with outstanding crime occurrences and warrants. Officers are equipped with fingerprint scanners which assist in catching people who lie about their identity,” SS1C Heyward said. “We recently ran Operation Northern over four Thursday nights at Elizabeth City Centre, Elizabeth Railway Station and Salisbury Interchange to deal with a range of issues. Operation Raise was then carried out in conjunction with Southern District, targeting incidents on the local tram line and surrounding suburbs. “The Branch also regularly uses foot, mobile vehicle and bicycle patrols, along with trail bikes to alleviate crime issues on public transport corridors.” The Branch’s work has been supported by DPTI’s investment in additional mobile security patrols, new hi-tech CCTV cameras, and improved lighting and emergency contact points at railway stations and interchanges. There is also a security hub staffed by Wilson Security that provides 24/7 monitoring of the public transport system. Close collaboration with DPTI continues, including direct access to DPTI’s incident data to further strengthen police intelligence. “These initiatives combined with our policing efforts have seen the total number of crime occurrences drop well below the three-year historical average, particularly for offences such as graffiti, property damage and missile throwing,” SS1C Heyward said.

“The number of barring orders issued has also declined, however they remain an effective tool for police to improve commuter safety.” Public Transport Safety Branch regularly meets with Taxi Council SA, DPTI and Wilson Security and is developing a relationship with Uber and other ride-sharing companies. “We have been working closely with the Taxi Council to educate drivers about crime prevention and personal safety,” she said. “Our relationship with stakeholders has evolved to ensure a more efficient use of resources. Branch members are now policing crime, with tasks such as reporting passengers for minor offences being undertaken by DPTI’s Passenger Service Assistants.” According to DPTI’s Manager Risk and Assurance, the cooperation between DPTI and SAPOL is integral to maintaining a safe and secure environment for public transport users. “This is evident with DPTI’s contracted security services and guards (Wilson Security) and mobile patrol services being supported by police across the public transport network. We also have compliance officers who work closely with SAPOL and industry to monitor taxi and rideshare drivers and vehicles to ensure passenger safety,” he said. “DPTI will continue to work with SAPOL to review strategies and introduce new initiatives to ensure passengers feel safe and to send a clear message that violence, property damage and antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated.” 

Constables Hayley Milligan and Kate Blundell at Adelaide Railway Station, and opposite page, with a Rail Operations team member. OPPOSITE PAGE (TOP): Brevet Sergeant Peter Williams assists a train commuter. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Increased police visibility on all transit routes and a more rapid response to crimes on public transport are paying off. BLUE UEPR INTT ISSUE IS S U E 11 ~~ 2 0 1 9 BL PRIN



A trail bike rider monitors a graffiti hotspot on a transit route. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Graffiti and vandalism are a constant problem along transit routes throughout metropolitan Adelaide.

New safety initiatives set in train T

he writing is on the wall for graffiti vandals with SAPOL joining forces with DPTI and Crime Stoppers SA to combat graffiti and vandalism attacks on the state’s public transport network. The anti-graffiti initiative includes rewards of up to $1000 for people who provide information that leads to a conviction for a graffiti-related offence on all types of public transport and associated infrastructure. A comprehensive public awareness campaign has also been rolled out on the Seaford train line to tackle the scourge of vandalism that costs taxpayers around $800 000 per year.


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Running until June 2019, the campaign involves signage at 23 stations, targeted social media advertisements, posters on-board buses, voice announcements at stations, and information across other digital platforms. SS1C Heyward said graffiti and vandalism are a constant problem along transit routes throughout metropolitan Adelaide. “Often the seriousness of the offending goes beyond simply marking graffiti, and includes vandals even attempting to stop, delay or disable trains, putting commuters at risk, or being aggressive toward those who challenge them while marking graffiti,” she said.

“Graffiti vandals are regularly serious repeat criminal offenders who have scant regard for public property or safety.” The campaign is one of several policing strategies focused on catching vandals, including covert cameras to monitor transit routes, using tactical teams to target graffiti hotspots and implementing specific operations based on intelligence. This resulted in 2028 vandals being caught in the last financial year, compared to 1812 in 2016-17, a 12 per cent rise. “We use our historical knowledge of offenders and recognition of tags, however CCTV provides the critical evidence we need to

identify suspects, usually through facial recognition technology,” SS1C Heyward said. “The proactive use of trail bikes and bicycle patrols targeting graffiti hotspots along transit corridors has also been successful in detecting and preventing graffiti offences.” You can report graffiti or vandalism of public transport facilities or infrastructure to Crime Stoppers by phoning 1800 333 000, online at or by using the Report Suspicious Behaviour app. You can remain anonymous. 


A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS Driving along Main North Road at Blakeview on a sunny October morning, an off-duty Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Narelle Bache noticed an elderly gentleman hobbling along the gravel verge.


upported by his walking stick, he shuffled along the road with cars whizzing past in the 90km/h zone. Concerned for his welfare, SC1C Bache felt the need to stop. “The traffic was busy and quite dangerous for pedestrians. I couldn’t just drive past and let him struggle along so I did a u-turn and pulled up behind him,” she said. The compassionate officer approached the smartly dressed man and offered him a lift home. While doing so, she enquired into his welfare and his reasons for being in a precarious location.

SC1C Bache soon discovered that he was Tony Duffy, an 84-year-old ex-serviceman who in his prime had served with the Royal Air Force in Germany in the 1950s. Unbeknown to her, Tony was near-collapse having already trekked more than a kilometre in his quest to reach Munno Para to catch a bus home. Once in SC1C Bache’s car, Tony shared his touching story about being on the way home from visiting the grave of his late wife, Sylvia, at Smithfield Memorial Park cemetery. He had done this every Sunday for the previous 22 years, since his beloved wife had died of deep-vein thrombosis at just 56 years old. “Tony told me how he would visit Sylvia’s grave every Sunday and on special dates such as their engagement and wedding anniversaries, Christmas Day and her birthday,” SC1C Bache said. “He would bring two dozen red roses to the cemetery on those notable dates, and each Sunday would spend around 45 minutes at his wife’s grave reading and reflecting.” Only a few weeks before his chance encounter with SC1C Bache, Tony had to give up driving due to medical

reasons. Despite his age and lack of mobility Tony was determined to maintain his weekly ritual. He began the challenging task of catching a bus and train to the cemetery, which involved an arduous walk of more than a kilometre to the cemetery and back again to the railway station. This walk would take over an hour each way. Deeply moved by his poignant story, SC1C Bache offered to take Tony to the cemetery on her available Sundays. After sharing her experience, colleagues Sergeant Judy Robinson, SC1C Liane Scutter and Senior Constables Emma Radinovic and Natascha Hicks all offered to assist. “I organised a roster for each of us to take Tony on his weekly visits to the cemetery while off-duty,” SC1C Bache said. “This lasted from October 2017 until the following June when a veteran’s charity organisation took on the task. “Overall I think each of us undertook the 14-kilometre round-trip with Tony around 10 times each and we would gladly do it all again. Each of us found it personally rewarding to make a positive

SC1C Liane Scutter, Sergeant Judith Robinson, SC1C Narelle Bache and Senior Constable Emma Radinovic with Tony Duffy at Smithfield Memorial Park. Photo: Steve McCawley, courtesy Police Journal (Police Association of SA).

difference in the life of a man who has shown so much love and dedication to his wife.” With his children unable to help, due to living overseas and in remote South Australia, Tony was extremely grateful for the officers’ generous assistance. “I was quite relieved when Narelle first stopped on the roadside to offer me a lift as I was struggling. I was surprised to find out she was a police officer but am very thankful for the valuable help provided by the five officers,” he said. Officer in Charge of Northern District, Superintendent Guy Buckley, believes the officers have brought credit to themselves. “They gave up their own time to assist someone in need and made a real difference, while not seeking any plaudits or attention,” he said. “Their actions assisting Tony while off-duty have shown great community spirit and service excellence of the highest quality to both SAPOL and the public.” 

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It’s never been my aim to win awards, however I’m extremely honoured to win this prestigious award.



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Brevet Sergeant Fred Keal celebrates his win with wife Suzanne and daughter Rebecca, and left, at the award presentation. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

After 15 years as a police officer in England Brevet Sergeant Fred Keal moved to South Australia seeking a fresh challenge. A decade later the talented and well respected police prosecutor was crowned 2018 South Australia Police Officer of the Year.


revet Sergeant Keal joined SAPOL as a UK recruit in January 2008 and the following year was posted to Mount Barker Prosecution Section, assuming the role of junior prosecutor. He initially enjoyed an incredible run of success, winning his first 15 trials, and over the years has earned the respect of his peers, defence counsel and Magistrates for his empathetic and professional manner, fairness and dedication. He has also shown a strong commitment to the community as a hard-working

Lions Club President, active CFS volunteer and all-round ‘ideas man’. The affable officer was surprised and humbled by the award, which is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Unley and recognises the outstanding commitment of a police officer serving the community based on nominations from the general public. “It’s never been my aim to win awards, however I’m extremely honoured to win this prestigious award,” Brevet Sergeant Keal said. “Winning this award may suggest that I dash about arresting lots of bad guys but I can assure that is not the case. Like many others, I do my job to the best of my ability so it may be the way I do it that sets me apart.” Brevet Sergeant Keal has found purpose in his adopted home of Macclesfield serving as the President of the Lions Club of Battunga Country (comprising the townships and districts of Echunga, Meadows, Macclesfield and Prospect Hill) since 2014, and as 2nd Lieutenant in the local CFS brigade. Between 2012 and 2017, he devised and led the planning of several ‘Gravfest’ events, wherein

sophisticated billy carts raced down Macclesfield’s steepest hill to benefit various charities, including Novita and the Williams Syndrome Association. “I admit establishing the Macclesfield Gravity Festival was a childish desire to race home-made billy carts down a hill but the charity work that has arisen from it with the Lions Club and my work in the CFS is really a celebration of how lucky I am,” he said. “To live in Macclesfield, with a great job and loving family, is a real privilege and it would be rude to squander it when I can do a bit in my spare time to help others.” The married father-of-three has a strong commitment to spreading joy and community spirit. Each November and December, Brevet Sergeant Keal turns his trailer into a sleigh and, dressed as an elf, assists Santa Claus as he visits the district’s major townships, complete with six white boomers on the roof of his car. In 2017, he masterminded the Lions Classic Bike Show, which drew around 1500 people to Macclesfield Oval, and raised $10 000 for the Lions Club to donate to a range of worthy causes.

“It was a roaring success and has now become an annual fundraising event,” Brevet Sergeant Keal said. The success of these community events has its origins in the conscientious officer’s time leading a drugs enforcement unit in England. “I apply logistical skills I developed in planning drug raids to plan Lions events although the people involved are quite different and the result is much more fulfilling,” he said. Brevet Sergeant Keal’s award can be attributed to his sense of fairness, justice and community, which is greater than his sense of self-interest. This was a recurring theme in the numerous letters supporting his nomination. However, his strongest supporters remain his family. “This award is testament to the unwavering support of my wife Suzanne who supports me in everything I do and reins me back when I get a bit carried away, and my children James, Matthew and Rebecca for tolerating my schemes,” he said. 

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EXERCISING ALL OPTIONS It’s essential that SAPOL and other agencies are adequately prepared in the event of a terrorist threat or incident. 28

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Officers plan during a training exercise. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

A terrorist enters the Adelaide Entertainment Centre (AEC) and plants a backpack containing a chemical dispersion device in a rubbish bin. Disturbed by staff, he then starts shooting, leaving up to 20 victims either dead or seriously injured, before taking six people hostage.


olice and emergency services rapidly respond to the mass casualty incident while explosives experts and negotiators proactively assume their vital roles. Fortunately this horrifying situation is just an element of Exercise Neighbour 18, a three-day counter-terrorism simulation involving police and emergency services from South Australia, Western Australia and Commonwealth national security agencies. Held from 20 – 22 November 2018, the activity provided a valuable opportunity to test and rehearse national and state arrangements in the event of a terrorist attack. “It’s essential that SAPOL and other agencies are adequately prepared in the event of a terrorist threat or incident,” said Assistant Commissioner (AC), Security and Emergency Management Service, Noel Bamford. “Regular counter-terrorism exercises such as Neighbour 18 emphasise the importance of multi-agency and multijurisdictional cooperation and interoperability. “They also ensure SAPOL is well placed to effectively manage and respond to any threat to community safety.” South Australia is not immune to the evolving threat of global terrorism.

Active armed offenders, siege hostage situations and suicide attacks are highrisk situations that present significant challenges for police and the community. Nationally, police and security officials have helped to disrupt 15 potential terror attacks. However, a terrorist incident in Melbourne last November was a terrible reminder of the reality of the current threat environment. An integral part of the Federal Government’s counter-terrorism investment through the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC), Exercise Neighbour 18 featured scenarios drawn from contemporary threats. Officer in Charge of Emergency and Major Event Section (EMES), Inspector Wendy Mazik was SAPOL’s exercise manager. “We commenced in July 2018 with workshops and discussion scenarios before progressing to the deployment style exercise in November,” she said. “The deployment activity provided a rigorous test of our counter-terrorism prevention and response arrangements.”

STANDING TOGETHER TO PROTECT THE COMMUNITY Exercise Neighbour 18 was the largest multijurisdictional training exercise SAPOL had participated in for 10 years. Inspector Mazik led a team of seven full and parttime members who planned, wrote and coordinated for the nine months leading up to the deployment exercise. Partner agencies including the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS), SA Ambulance Service (SAAS), along with representatives from the Relief Functional Support Group were integral to the planning process. The first scenario involved an edged weapon attack on an Australian Defence Force (ADF) facility at Keswick

ABOVE: Planning and operational scenes from Exercise Neighbour. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

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The exercise has provided a timely reminder of the terrorism threat environment and the need for police to be vigilant and prepared.

Barracks, which examined its lockdown procedures. This led to a chemical and potential explosive incident at a Plympton Park address. “The response to the second scenario practiced the new Joint Hazardous Response Team arrangements which include Bomb Response Unit, STAR Operations, Forensic Response Section, MFS and SAAS,” Inspector Mazik said. “The scenario identified several complexities and challenges.” The following day featured the aforementioned AEC activity, which assessed the response to an active armed


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offender transitioning to a siege/hostage situation, complicated by the presence of an explosive device. “Simultaneously negotiators were communicating with a terrorist holding hostages, Bomb Response Unit were rendering the device safe, while STAR Operations, SAAS and responding police patrols were addressing how to safely extract the injured victims, and Major Crime supported by the Relief Functional Support Group, managed victim/family reunification,” Inspector Mazik said. “This progressed to the terrorist setting a deadline for

STAR Operations members and a Bomb Response Unit member (opposite page) prepare for the exercise at Plympton. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

his demands and ultimately the authorisation of a ‘deliberate action’ enabling STAR Operations to storm the stronghold and use deadly force against the terrorist, practically applying new powers afforded to SAPOL by the Terrorism (Police Powers) (Use of Force) Amendment Act 2018, introduced only two weeks earlier. “Public information during a terrorist incident was also tested, particularly managing social media in addition to providing safety advice and reassurance to the community.” The exercise strengthened SAPOL’s relationship with

the venue’s operator, Adelaide Venue Management Corporation (AVMC), which also runs Coopers Stadium at Hindmarsh and the Adelaide Convention Centre. “By offering AEC as a training setting, AVMC were able to test their own emergency plans. This provided valuable learnings which they can apply across other venues to enhance staff and patron safety,” Inspector Mazik said. Exercise Neighbour 18 brought capability experts from other jurisdictions who were tasked with evaluating response performance. “The vastly experienced

evaluators provided mentoring, support and guidance, contributing to identifying best practice along with exploring contingencies to suit extraordinary challenges and circumstances,” Inspector Mazik said. The three-day activity allowed SAPOL to trial and assess its recently announced rapid response capability, with the final model still under development. Additionally, SAPOL’s Forensic Response Section and the State Coroner’s Office were able to practice the full disaster victim identification and reconciliation process for the

first time. Exercise Neighbour will wrap-up in March after a post-incident workshop, exercise validation and resolution process. This culminates with a Resolution Action Plan being submitted to the ANZCTC for progression. “Practicing our plans and processes in a safe environment has identified potential gaps, challenges and opportunities for improvement, but also ensures we are all best prepared for a real event,” Inspector Mazik said. 

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A FAIR DINKUM WAY OPPOSITE PAGE: Senior Constable First Class Julie Jones discusses the Travel Safe guide with a tourist at Adelaide Airport. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

The safety campaign is not just aimed at backpackers, but a wide range of visitors to South Australia.


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Visitors to South Australia who are looking to do some “hard yakka” while “goin’ bush” or just “gettin’ a lift” are the beneficiaries of a new travel safety campaign launched by SAPOL.


eveloped in the wake of two serious incidents in South Australia involving overseas visitors, the initiative features a travel pocket guide including a range of easy to understand tips about ridesharing, farm work, travelling in the outback, safe partying and swimming at South Australian beaches. The ‘Travel Safe’ guide contains a range of Aussie slang terms to help tourists understand the ‘local lingo’. Reading in part like an Alf Stewart script from Home and Away, the guide is aimed at capturing travellers’ attention and instigating conversations about serious safety topics. With tourists now using social media and websites to research travelling

information, Assistant Commissioner (AC) Peter Harvey sees this campaign as a great way for SAPOL to be present in these spaces and conversations to help them stay safe when travelling in South Australia. “The use of humour in our posters and pocket cards is intended to highlight just a few simple tips, while our rollout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is aimed at creating ‘shareable’ content,” he said. “This is not about scaring people, but about recognising that people no longer ‘thumb a lift’ on the roadside, but rather they find a share ride in the digital space.” In 2017, convicted Salt

Creek kidnapper Roman Heinze met his female victims on popular trading website Gumtree after the backpackers advertised to be driven interstate. In a separate incident, Gene Charles Bristow was charged with three counts of rape and one count of unlawful detention of a 24-year-old tourist, who placed an ad on Gumtree in which she sought farming work. The safety campaign is not just aimed at backpackers, but a wide range of visitors to South Australia. “This initiative is about people being able to enhance their trip by accessing reliable and factual information about travelling

safely in South Australia,” AC Harvey said. “It encourages people to have situational awareness and think about their personal safety and that of their travelling companions while enjoying their stay in South Australia. “These resources are also a fun and easy way for tourism or hospitality workers to start conversations with international visitors.” The Commissioner for Victims’ Rights, Bronwyn Killmier, said she was pleased to work with SAPOL to develop the new material. “We want people to enjoy and experience our great state but they still need to be mindful of their safety,” she said. “If people are sticking a virtual ‘ thumb in the air’ to hitch a ride, or travelling to South Australia for work or a visit, this material will offer a few tips on how to stay safe while enjoying everything our state has to offer.” The Travel Safe guide, along with valuable safety tips, are available on the SAPOL website: www.police. 



Moments in Time


ABOVE: The evolution of bicycle patrols from North Terrace Barracks in May 1915 to the Tour Down Under in January 2018. RIGHT: A police bicycle dispatch rider in the early 1950s. BELOW: Alfred Samuel Cottell in 1940.


edal power has been a feature of policing in South Australia since SAPOL became the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce bicycle patrols in 1893. They were used for a range of police work, including enquiries, service of summonses and patrols, and in the late 1910s and early 1920s, to detect speeding motorists who exceeded the prevailing speed limit of 12 miles per hour. ‘Police on the Move – An Amazing Journey of Horses to Horsepower – History of South Australia Police Transport 1838-2011’, written by retired Deputy Commissioner John White, provides a fascinating insight into the evolution of bicycles within SAPOL. He notes that some officers initially refused to ride them, preferring to walk instead. Others complained that due to rough roads, they had to stop to relight the acetylene lamps on their bikes. In the late 1890s SAPOL employed a mechanic to build and maintain the fleet, and during this time developed its own bicycle design. Featuring straight handlebars and a large

seat, the model became standard issue for around 70 years. By 1916 the number of police bicycles had grown to 100 for a police force of 352 members, with bikes progressively issued to most police stations. This increased to 133 bicycles in 1943 before their use diminished from the 1950s onwards, with bikes mainly used for special operations. In 2000 a new cycle began, with uniform bicycle patrols introduced to complement regular mobile police patrols. Today, bicycle patrols are used for high-visibility policing to detect and prevent crime and are deployed at special events. More than 80 officers are qualified to ride the 30 bikes available across the four metropolitan Districts and Public Transport Safety Branch. Retired Commissioner Mal Hyde with bicycle patrol members at the launch in 2000.

Northern District members patrol the Royal visit at Elizabeth in April 2014. All photos: South Australian Police Historical Society and SAPOL Photographic Section.

Profile for South Australia Police

Blueprint magazine Issue 1 2019  

Blueprint is South Australia Police’s official magazine. In each issue you will find informative and engaging articles covering a broad rang...

Blueprint magazine Issue 1 2019  

Blueprint is South Australia Police’s official magazine. In each issue you will find informative and engaging articles covering a broad rang...