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Recruit 313:


2017, ISSUE 1



Major Crime cold cases

Case study:

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Shannon McCoole

> New initiatives:

Recruit 313

> Current operations:

Operation Vanguard

> Our people:

EOC Review

> Team profile:

Confiscation Section

Material from this publication may be reproduced with the approval of the Officer in Charge, Awards, Marketing and Events Branch, and provided appropriate acknowledgment accompanies each reproduction.

2017, ISSUE 1

From the Editor


Crime trend:

© South Australia Police


o lose a loved one to a criminal act is a harrowing experience but it can be even more traumatic when they are the subject of a cold case investigation. Operation Persist has seen Major Crime Investigation Branch turn up the heat on cold cases with a range of initiatives to find the missing piece of the puzzle in more than 100 of the state’s unsolved murders. This includes a number of cases involving child abductions and murder victims, which now attract a $1 million reward. Ensuring justice for child victims is also the focus of Special Crimes Investigation Branch, which played a pivotal role in the conviction of notorious paedophile Shannon McCoole after an intensive investigation. The success of the case was testament to the dedication and resilience of investigators, often in trying circumstances. Children are often the innocent victims of family and domestic




ISSN 1448-1855 Editor: Mathew Rodda Editorial Team: Commissioner Grant Stevens, Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey, Karina Loxton and Mathew Rodda.

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violence. In recent years SAPOL has invested significant resources in delivering a more effective response to the scourge of domestic violence. Initiatives such as the Multi-Agency Protection Service and involvement with the new Women’s Safety Services SA highlight SAPOL’s commitment to early intervention via a collaborative approach. Collaboration is also the hallmark of SAPOL’s strategies to disrupt and dismantle serious and organised crime groups via Operation Vanguard and the National AntiGangs Squad. The ill-gotten gains of such criminals have increasingly come under the microscope of Confiscation Section in recent years, with millions of dollars’ worth of cash and assets restrained. These are just some of the wide ranging topics covered in this issue of Blueprint. Our people are also a focus with informative stories about the wonderful work of staffled charity Cops for Kids and the Band being named a State Cultural Icon. A new staff profile has been introduced, featuring Inspector Ian Humby’s 26-year career in regional policing. This issue also provides further insights into the EOC Review and Recruit 313.

Designed & Printed by: Graphic Print Group

Photos: SAPOL’s Photographic Section; Media

COVER Senior Constable Kara Blackburn – the first female motorcycle officer in SAPOL. Photo: Andrew Challen, SAPOL Photographic Section.

and Public Engagement Section; Confiscation Section; Special Crimes Investigation Branch; Serious and Organised Crime Branch; Crime Gangs Task Force; Band of the South Australia Police; South Australian Police Historical Society; Sharon McKell. Blueprint is produced by SAPOL’s Awards, Marketing and Events Branch, Police Headquarters, GPO Box 1539, Adelaide 5001 Internal Postcode: 120 Tel: 08 732 24368 – Fax: 08 732 23289

Views and opinions expressed by contributors within this publication are not necessarily those of the 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.


I want Blueprint to shine a light on the hard work and dedication of individuals and on the projects and initiatives that are shaping our organisation.

Commissioner's foreword I am pleased to welcome back SAPOL’s premier magazine – Blueprint – after a few years’ absence.


lueprint was always well received by SAPOL employees and the wider community, and while it has received a facelift with a fresh masthead and minor design tweaks, it retains the same strong editorial focus on showcasing and sharing the stories of our people, their work and their achievements, and highlighting key issues affecting SAPOL. I want Blueprint to shine a light on the hard work and

dedication of individuals, on the feats and triumphs of our teams and on the projects and initiatives that are shaping our organisation. Too often these get glossed over in the general news cycle or on social media, or can be missed in the volume of corporate messaging. We all like to read about people we know or have worked with in the past, curious to see where their career has taken them. No doubt we also like to learn about the lesser known areas of SAPOL and discover the substance behind some of our higher profiled cases and operations. Our people, Staff profile, Team profile and Community engagement sections will feature stories on the people we work with; our collaborative efforts; and initiatives that

affect our people. Case studies will be a regular feature of Blueprint – showcasing some of the compelling stories of the work done by SAPOL – kicking off with the Shannon McCoole case, giving some insight into the crimes and investigations that followed. Contemporary policing issues will be covered under Crime trends, Current operations and New initiatives, providing updates on projects of corporate significance and exploring other emerging areas of interest. Apart from being real page turners, all of these stories have something else in common – they exemplify SAPOL’s values. Whether it’s our pursuit of the ideals of Integrity and Respect as seen in the EOC

Review story; the principle of Collaboration embedded in our new domestic violence hubs; the tenets of Leadership and Courage embodied by operations Persist, Prism and Vanguard; or the Band’s Service edict recognised with State Cultural Icon status – all headline stories in this issue – they each help to reinforce and celebrate our values. Blueprint is all about the people and the work of SAPOL, and its success will rely on the diversity of story ideas. If you know a colleague, section, investigation or other work that would make interesting reading or have a good news story you think is worth sharing, I encourage you to submit your ideas to the Editor. Happy reading.


We all like to read about people we know or have worked with in the past, curious to see where their career has taken them. BL UEPR IN T IS S U E 1 ~ 2 0 1 7




When a loved one is murdered, the emotional and psychological impact is immeasurable, and the effects unimaginable. The trauma is exacerbated when that homicide remains unresolved. 2

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he feelings of loss, anger, helplessness and guilt are intensified. Survivors begin to fear they might never know what happened, and they wonder if they will ever see justice done. Bringing suspects to justice and giving families closure is the focus of Operation Persist, a significant campaign by Major Crime Investigation Branch (MCIB) investigating South Australia’s longest running and most puzzling murder cases. There are now 119 unsolved murders and disappearances involving 128 victims in South

Australia, dating back to the 1950s. They range from child abductions to bikie executions and domestic murders. Officer in Charge of MCIB, Detective Superintendent Des Bray, says that cold cases are being subjected to comprehensive reviews to take advantage of new forensic techniques and investigational strategies. “Many unsolved cases have firm suspects, but insufficient evidence to lay charges. In some of those cases we believe there are associates who have vital information that could help advance the

investigation,” he said. “While advances in DNA testing may provide vital forensic evidence in some cases, public assistance is still crucial. “There may be associates or witnesses who have had friendships or loyalties broken down over time and who are now prepared to cooperate with police.” A significant media campaign has underpinned Operation Persist, with SAPOL working with Crime Stoppers and media partners to highlight unsolved cold cases to the wider community.

Prisoners encouraged to play their cards right

MCIB investigators at the scene of a homicide. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Operation Persist was launched in March 2015 with an hour-long documentary about South Australia’s cold cases on Channel 9. Unsolved homicides have also been featured on Channel 9’s ‘South Australia’s Most Wanted’ weekly news segment and in the Sunday Mail. Channel 9 also screened a 30-minute documentary about the 1994 National Crime Authority bombing that killed WA police officer Geoffrey Bowen and badly injured lawyer Peter Wallis.

The extensive media coverage was recognised at the Crime Stoppers International awards in 2016, with Channel 9 and News Limited winning the ‘Best Special Report/ Features’ categories for print and television. “These awards acknowledge the innovative engagement tactics being used in this campaign and the strong working partnership between Crime Stoppers and SAPOL,” said Crime Stoppers SA Chair, Sharon Hanlon.

A major component of Operation Persist involves engaging with around 2900 prisoners held in the state’s correctional facilities. As part of this innovative strategy, a series of playing cards – each featuring an unsolved murder – has been distributed to all prisoners, accompanied by an individual letter outlining the benefits available to them if they assist in solving one of the murder cases. Importantly, the cards inform prisoners of a dedicated telephone line which allows direct and confidential contact with a cold case investigator. Posters featuring the same information have also been displayed prominently in every police station and in jails, including cell areas and public waiting rooms. This is aimed at attracting the attention of around

30 000 people who are held in police cells and the 6000 people who pass through the state’s prison system each year. “We believe many of those people are likely to have information that could help solve a cold case murder,” Detective Superintendent Bray said. “This is a bold initiative which has the blessing of the victims’ families. So far it has been a success with more than 65 calls received, with a number of cases progressed as a direct result of prisoner cooperation. “We have had approaches from prisoners, lawyers, correctional staff and other people on behalf of prisoners. Some have provided us with formal statements, while others have been able to give us more general information.”




“Sixty stories representing 94 homicide victims have appeared in print media and on television in South Australia during Operation Persist.” The media campaign has generated considerable interest from the community. “During the first intensive three-month media campaign, Crime Stoppers averaged 25 actions per week for Operation Persist,” Ms Hanlon said.

“Crime Stoppers’ reports for Operation Persist now average 8.5 reports per week.” Another feature of Operation Persist is the $38 million worth of rewards on offer to encourage people to come forward with information that may finally help solve some of the 119 cold cases. The minimum reward is $200 000 for unsolved major crimes, rising to $1 million for

crimes against the State and the abduction or murder of children. A reward of up to $500 000 is offered in some cases involving organised crime or outlaw motorcycle gangs. Detective Superintendent Bray urges anyone who has knowledge that may assist in progressing an unsolved murder to contact police and take advantage of the rewards on offer.

“My message to the community is simple; now is the time to act,” he said. “If there’s something you know, something you recall or something you could never forget and you’ve just been waiting for the right time; that time is now. “Your information could provide the missing piece of the puzzle that brings an offender to justice and gives closure to victims’ families.”

Criminals to face the acid test D

NA testing is at the forefront of Operation Persist, with Forensic Science SA conducting advanced “familial” DNA testing in numerous unsolved cases. This involves testing partial DNA profiles found at crime scenes with those obtained from a suspect’s direct relative in order to obtain a usable profile. Forensic Science SA is also retesting numerous exhibits in many of the cases using advanced DNA testing methods, while others are being examined at world-leading laboratories in New Zealand and the Netherlands. MCIB has also identified up to 250 people previously convicted in South Australia of either murder or manslaughter who were released from jail before 2004 and are not currently recorded on the DNA database. “We are seeking to obtain DNA and/or fingerprints from those individuals as


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permitted by legislation. That data will then be crosschecked with evidence taken from other crime scenes nationally,” Detective Superintendent Bray said. “It is not unreasonable to suspect that a person who has committed an act of murder or manslaughter once could reoffend after being released from prison.” Detective Superintendent Bray said the various elements of Operation Persist have begun to mesh together and produce results. “We have made arrests in two significant murder cases – the 2012 bashing and stabbing of Jayson Doelz and the 1998 murder of Dale McCauley,” he said. “Investigations in several other unsolved cases, including the 1994 National Crime Authority bombing, are well advanced while numerous other cold cases are at various stages of investigation after being reviewed.” Dale McCauley’s sister,

Sandra Cole-Stokes, believes the media attention generated by Operation Persist and the determined work of investigators was crucial in a suspect being arrested for Dale’s murder. “Major Crime already had a suspect for the crime but not enough evidence for an arrest. The media exposure was very helpful in gathering more information and it also shamed the suspect into revealing the whereabouts of Dale’s remains,” she said. “Major Crime initially kept in contact with my father about Dale’s case as I was living interstate. When the case was re-opened they kept me informed of all major events as the investigation progressed, and even flew me to Adelaide to meet the investigation team and conduct media interviews.” Dale McCauley was last seen at his Seaton home in January 1998 and reported missing a month later by a concerned friend.

His remains were found in scrubland at Second Valley on 16 January 2016 following information provided by Adrian Mahoney, who has been charged with Mr McCauley’s murder. “Holding Dale’s funeral, spreading his ashes and putting a cross on the tree near where his remains were found should be closure. But even though the suspect is in jail it doesn’t stop my thoughts about what Dale would be doing now if the past 19 years hadn’t been stolen from him,” Mrs Cole-Stokes said. “I have now lost the last member of our family. Our parents went to their graves suspecting foul play but not knowing what really happened to their son.” If you know something about an unsolved homicide or disappearance, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the website at https:// You can remain anonymous.

The hope for justice never fades Emma Jade Pawelski had a great love for animals, often rescuing stray cats. She was a kind and caring person, especially to those less fortunate than herself.


he also had a strong love for her family, particularly her little sister Hannah and her mother Sharon who she enjoyed spending quality time with watching movies, shopping or having lunch together in the city. For nearly 12 years, these are the memories Sharon McKell has cherished as she lives through the pain of knowing her daughter’s killer remains at large. “I miss Emma very much and am unable to have these memories of her without being brought to tears,” Ms McKell said. Thirty-year-old Emma was last seen carrying a cat as she walked along Regency Road at Prospect on 26 November 2005. Her badly beaten and burnt body was found by a bushwalker on the side of a track 300 metres from a gate off Chalks Road in Mount Crawford Forest, near Williamstown, eight days later. Police have identified a suspect, known to Emma, and have received credible information suggesting more than one person was involved. However, nobody has been arrested despite the case attracting a $200 000 reward as part of Operation Persist. “My biggest wish is for someone to speak up and receive the reward,” Ms McKell said. “I have always pleaded for somebody who has any information about this crime to come forward for the sake of Emma, myself and our family. “We just want to see justice done – someone has to be held accountable for inflicting such a horrific death.” Ms McKell has been in regular contact with MCIB over the years as

she holds out hope for news of an arrest in her daughter’s case. “I keep in touch with the investigating detective in Emma’s case and my Victim Contact Officer, Debbie Gibson, who has provided valuable support throughout such a frustrating time,” Ms McKell said. MCIB Detective Senior Sergeant John Schneemilch says that investigators have received information from several callers which has corroborated intelligence already gathered during the cold case investigation. “We are particularly interested in information about the use of a red Ford Telstar sedan around the time of Ms Pawelski’s death and a distinctive leather belt found on her body,” he said. “We are confident that the Telstar is in some way associated with her disappearance and possible movement from Regency Road up to Mount Crawford. We know that in the week leading up to her disappearance it was being used by her and her associates.” Ms McKell has not given up hope that police will make an arrest and appeals to anyone who has information about her daughter’s case to come forward. “Think about what Emma went through and think about her family who are seeking answers and closure. Also think about how you would feel if this happened to someone you love,” she said. “This is something I would not wish on anyone. The grief and sleepless nights impact on your everyday life and with a cold case it never goes away.” 


Emma Pawelski with her mother Sharon McKell and sister Hannah, and showing her love for animals. Photos courtesy of Sharon McKell.

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Domestic violence costs the Australian economy $13.6 billion each year; and this time next week it will cost another Australian woman her life. 6

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SAPOL is focusing on prevention, early intervention, collaborative responses, protecting victims and holding offenders accountable. Domestic violence infiltrates every structure of society and crosses all racial, cultural, age and socioeconomic groups. It is a complex problem with abuse taking varied forms including physical, sexual, economic, psychological, verbal and emotional. Domestic violence is insidious and disempowering and has a damaging effect on the victim, their children, family and friends.


In recent years, SAPOL has established a more effective recognition and response to domestic violence with improved service delivery, policies and training. This has been supported by legislative changes providing police with more options to protect victims, strengthened partnerships and collaborative responses with other government and non-government agencies including enhanced information sharing, and initiatives such as the MultiAgency Protection Service and the Family Safety Framework. SAPOL also established the Family and Domestic Violence Branch to improve the governance, accountability and consistency in service delivery to victims of domestic abuse. Detective Superintendent Joanne Shanahan, Officer in Charge of Family and Domestic Violence Branch, says further long-term action and collective effort is required to reduce the

unacceptably high rate of domestic violence. “SAPOL is focusing on prevention and early intervention, collaborative responses, protecting victims and holding offenders accountable,” she said. “We must be leaders in the community to make domestic violence unacceptable.” Family violence specialist staff are located in each Local Service Area and provide an expert follow-up response in risk review and the investigation and case management of domestic violence incidents, including a strong role in integrated responses to support victims. SAPOL is also involved in the Family Safety Framework

(FSF), which provides a strategic and proactive way for government and nongovernment agencies to work together to address domestic violence in South Australia for those families most at risk of violence. “A key component of the FSF is the regional-based Family Safety Meeting, chaired by SAPOL, which is attended by agencies and services working with high risk victims of domestic violence. These meetings provide an opportunity to share up-to-date information and to develop collaborative responses,” Detective Superintendent Shanahan said.

omestic violence victims suffer ongoing fear and trauma, and a loss of freedom and choice. In some cases the violence can be fatal. Sadly, even in a country as “lucky” as Australia, domestic violence is disturbingly common. Around 87 per cent of domestic violence victims in Australia are women, with one in three women likely to experience family violence in their lifetime. Domestic violence is the biggest cause of death, ill health and disability for women aged 15 to 44 and the leading cause of homelessness for women and children. Domestic violence costs the Australian economy $13.6 billion each year; and this time next week it will cost another Australian woman her life.

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Inspector Peter Worth, Senior Constable Karen Fielke and Detective Senior Constable Rebecca Hughes from MAPS. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The prevention of domestic violence is not solely a police responsibility. Integrated action with non-government and public sector agencies, together with the community, is essential. Introduced in July 2014, the Multi-Agency Protection Service (MAPS) is a SAPOLled integrated information sharing model to manage domestic violence and related child protection matters. MAPS shares information on all high risk domestic violence matters and a small percentage of medium and standard risk matters between SAPOL, Department for Correctional Services, Department for Education and Child Development, Department of Child Protection, Department

for Communities and Social Inclusion, and SA Health. By collectively assessing, analysing and responding to emerging domestic violence matters reported to SAPOL, MAPS aims to reduce the incidence and impact of domestic violence in the community. “MAPS’ primary objective is to ensure incidents of domestic violence and related child protection matters are prevented through the sharing of intelligence and information,” Detective Superintendent Shanahan said. “By co-locating participating agencies under one roof we facilitate real-time information sharing, risk assessments and allocation of responses to minimise risks to victims and vulnerable people. “MAPS has identified and intervened in situations that could easily have escalated and resulted in harm to those involved.”

MAPS has won praise nationally, including from prominent anti-domestic violence campaigner and former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, whose 11-yearold son Luke was murdered by his father in 2014. “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this will save lives,” Ms Batty said. “If this kind of service had been operating for Luke and I, the outcome could have been very different.” Arman Abrahimzadeh is also supportive of the MAPS concept. His mother Zahra was callously murdered by her husband Zialloh in 2010 despite having taken out apprehended violence orders against him after her and her three children were subjected to decades of abuse. “I have visited the MAPS office many times and have seen this initiative grow from infancy to the complex and effective unit it is today. MAPS is helping many victims of abuse and violence, not just those in intimate partner relationships,” Mr Abrahimzadeh said. “MAPS and the other initiatives implemented since my mother’s death highlights SAPOL’s leadership in domestic violence and the positive cultural change and greater understanding taking place within SAPOL and the broader community. “It’s important that people know there is help available so we can prevent more senseless deaths from domestic violence.”

MAPS has identified and intervened in situations that could easily have escalated and resulted in harm to those involved. 8

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Giving victims a fighting chance

In an Australian first, SAPOL is currently trialling the co-location of three experienced Family Violence Investigation Officers (FVIOs) with Women’s Safety Services South Australia (WSSSA) in a multi-agency hub based at Mile End.


SSSA was established in 2016 as a collaborative effort between Central Domestic Violence Service, Domestic Violence Crisis Service and Migrant Women’s Support Services. It provides an integrated response through the provision of specialised, accessible and flexible models of service delivery. Commissioner Grant Stevens has ensured SAPOL plays a pivotal role by insisting that FVIOs are based at the hub.

Sergeant Kathy Roberts from Family and Domestic Violence Branch believes the collaborative arrangement enables the delivery of a more coordinated response. “FVIOs are well positioned to provide face-to-face advice to clients of other agencies who attend the centre and seek police input, and can either initiate action immediately or refer them into the appropriate area in SAPOL,” she said. “The FVIO can speak to the victim about their options, and where necessary make referrals regarding available support services.” When not interacting with WSSSA clients, FVIOs are responsible for initiating contact with victims who have been assessed as standard risk and a domestic abuse report has been submitted. This reduces the workload of Family Violence Investigation Sections across Local Service Areas (LSAs). “The majority of the referrals have come from Migrant Women’s Support Services who have integrated with WSSSA and, where possible, the hub has assisted the LSAs with follow-ups,” Sergeant Roberts said. The agencies involved in the hub do not operate as a single multi-disciplinary team. Rather, each agency performs its own function independently, with significant opportunities and benefits gained from the co-location of the services and development of the multi-agency relationships. “The multi-agency hub is not intended as a first response crisis centre. Domestic and family violence victims are invited to the hub by the respective agencies to allow services to be accessed at that location,” Sergeant Roberts said. “In many cases, victims will have already had a first response from either police or another agency before attending the hub.”

SAPOL has already seen the benefit of co-locating multi-agencies with the successful implementation of MAPS. “The benefits gained through co-location are difficult to quantify, however with the development of relationships comes trust, information exchange and sharing, and most importantly improved service delivery to victims,” Sergeant Roberts said. “By working closely with WSSSA we are able to provide an immediate response to domestic and family violence victims and proactively facilitate safe and seamless pathways through the available services.” Executive Director of WSSSA, Maria Hagias, regularly receives positive feedback about SAPOL’s integral role in the success of the multi-agency hub. “I recently arranged for a woman to meet with Senior Constables Stella Hartley and Paul Adams the day after she experienced a domestic violence incident at her home. There had been past incidents of emotional and verbal abuse and the perpetrator’s behaviour was escalating,” she said. “She did not want to attend a police station as it was confronting and there were complexities with her case.” The female victim felt quite overwhelmed and helpless regarding her rights, but the valuable service provided by the hub located at WSSSA enabled her to pursue the issue and make a statement to police and proceed with assault charges. “She was extremely pleased with the support and service she received from Senior Constables Hartley and Adams and appreciated that this was available to her in a safe space that was nonthreatening and supportive,” Ms Hagias said.  TOP: Sergeant Kathy Roberts

assists a client at the multiagency hub. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

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South Australia Police is currently undertaking its most intensive recruitment drive in recent history, with the target of having an additional 313 officers on the frontline by 2018. This is in response to a $4.1 million funding boost from the State Government.


o meet the target there will be nearly 400 new recruits either in training or having completed their cadet course at the Police Academy by June this year. This encompasses the remaining cadets required to meet ‘Recruit 313’ and annual attrition, which is usually around five per cent of

sworn officers. Assistant Commissioner, Human Resource Service, Linda Fellows says the community can be assured that the standard of police recruited will not decrease in any way because of the tight timeline. “The standards have not changed. The people we are

looking for are those who can think critically, problem solve, have high levels of integrity and an appropriate level of fitness,” she said. “We have simply cast our net wider by tailoring our marketing activities to encourage more women, youth and culturally diverse people to consider a policing career. We have also been able to fast-track elements of the application process and have dedicated more resources to processing the greater volume of applications.” The Recruit 313 project team has been tasked with managing the logistical issues surrounding the initiative, including seconding additional trainers and instructors for cadet courses at the Academy and developing marketing strategies to attract recruits.



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As the Recruiting Manager, Inspector Peter Clifton has facilitated many of the changes. “We have doubled the number of recruiting seminars per month with the introduction of women and youth pre-application seminars, both in the metropolitan and regional areas including Murray Bridge, Berri and Mount Gambier and have attended the Lucindale field day,” he said. “We have had a visible presence at high profile events, such as the Tour Down Under and the Adelaide Thunderbirds’ family day for the first time, and highlighted SAPOL career opportunities directly to students and parents through high schools and universities.” SAPOL’s current recruitment campaign “Achieve More/See Yourself in Uniform” has been revamped for the Recruit 313 initiative and has been very successful in generating a surge in applications. It has been

communicated via a suite of advertising and promotional activities, including traditional TV, radio, press and gym advertisements, together with emerging video/audio on-demand platforms such as TenPlay, Yahoo7 and Spotify. The advertising campaign has also appeared on Snapchat and Facebook, with a Facebook testimonial video featuring Probationary Constable Kathryn Khor recently passing 300 000 views. “All this focused activity has seen seminars fill-up well in advance. Applications have skyrocketed and female applications have increased to between 35 and 40 per cent,” Inspector Clifton said. “We currently have around 1000 open applications, so interest and competition for positions is at a very high level.” The campaign has appealed to younger people, with 19 per cent of cadets in the first 11 courses of Recruit 313 aged 21 or under and a further 62 per cent in the 22-30 age group. This is the result of not only the targeted marketing campaign but a more efficient recruiting process focusing on the fast-tracking of applications for high-achieving school leavers and university graduates.

The usual three-to-fourmonth vetting and testing regime has been streamlined to ensure applicants are processed in around three weeks in some instances. South Australians holding an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 70 or above, or a Bachelor’s degree from a recognised institution, are no longer required to complete the pre-application numeracy and literacy test to be accepted as a recruit. “This more efficient recruitment process is aimed at attracting the state’s best and brightest to consider a long-term career in policing. Most importantly we are ensuring those we recruit share our values as we move forward,” Inspector Clifton said. In other moves, SAPOL has adjusted the physical

fitness requirements to better match what is necessary for a patrol officer and introduced a junior cadet training wage for recruits aged under 21 years during their 12 months’ training at the Academy. SAPOL has also made a significant investment in resourcing the Academy to accommodate the influx of cadets and additional trainers. “To successfully implement Recruit 313 we have purchased additional equipment and resources including tablet computers, training firearms and new vehicles for driver training,” Inspector Clifton said. “This ensures recruits have everything they need to prepare for a rewarding longterm career with a modern and diverse police service.”

TOP: Probationary Constable Kathryn Khor and Cadet Heather Lee. OPPOSITE PAGE (TOP): The SAPOL recruitment stand at last year’s Royal Adelaide Show. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.




Senior Constable Kara Blackburn. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

All torque and plenty of action Senior Constable Kara Blackburn is typical of the type of person SAPOL is aiming to attract through Recruit 313. With no clear idea of what career path to follow after finishing high school, she eventually decided to pursue her long-held interest in policing.


decade later she is living life in the fast lane as SAPOL’s first ever female motorcycle officer. “I took a gap year after high school and worked full-time in a hospitality management position and joined the Army


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Reserve,” Senior Constable Blackburn said. “I’ve never enjoyed sitting still for long periods and policing seemed like the type of job that kept you moving, so I looked into it, saw the variety of roles available and applied straight away.” Senior Constable Blackburn has worked in a range of areas across SAPOL including patrols, plain clothed areas, Transit and Traffic. However, with a passion for motorcycles it was only a matter of time before she realised her dream of becoming a ‘speedie’. “I’d always wanted to ride motorbikes and gained my licence as soon as I began my course at the Police Academy in 2006,” she said. “My first field tutor also rode and helped me develop a keen interest in traffic. From there I decided that it was a

role I’d certainly be interested in pursuing.” The State Traffic Enforcement Unit member’s career aspirations crystallised while riding dirt bikes in her role at Transit. After satisfying all the pre-entry assessments, she undertook the intensive three-week motorcycle officer course. Like many others, she was unsuccessful in her first attempt and re-did the course around 12 months later. “I spent that time getting out on my own bike as much as possible to improve my skills. It was a role I really wanted to do, so I worked extremely hard at it until I was successful,” Senior Constable Blackburn said. “I was definitely proud of myself for passing the course and it was great feeling to be the first female to do so.

The course standards are exactly the same for men and women, so it’s nice to know that I’m equally as capable. “With more women joining SAPOL, it won’t be long until I’m joined by other female motorcycle officers as the role is definitely achievable.” Senior Constable Blackburn highly recommends a career with SAPOL. “Policing offers such diverse opportunities with the many roles available, so there is something for everyone. It also offers a great worklife balance and different challenges every day,” she said. “It’s a great way to test yourself and get out of your comfort zone, learn new things, make some great friends and have a dynamic and rewarding career.” 


FUTURE LEADERS AIM FOR THE STARS The hills were alive for six days during January as a select group of Year 12 students descended on the Echunga Police Training Reserve for SAPOL’s annual Youth Leadership Camp.


he contingent of 24 intrepid teens subjected themselves to a week of gruelling activities hosted by SAPOL’s Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Group. Since 1991, STAR Group has been helping to shape tomorrow’s community leaders via this unique program, leading a group of 12 males and 12 females who are preparing to enter their final year of secondary school through a series of demanding physical and mental challenges. Superintendent David O’Donovan, Officer in Charge of STAR Group, says the camp is structured to challenge each individual’s selfimposed physical and mental limitations. “The aim of the camp is to provide participants with opportunities to build their personal confidence and learn new skills in leadership,

motivation and teamwork that will assist them in coping with the stresses of Year 12 and beyond,” he said. This year’s Youth Leadership Camp featured a broad range of special guest speakers who each had a different, but very compelling life story to tell. Apart from being inspired by the speakers, the 24 participants experienced team building activities, scenario based exercises and abseiling, all run by the camp leaders. “A large amount of the course format is kept secret, with the element of surprise utilised to challenge course participants,” Superintendent O’Donovan said. The live-in, six-day course is held with limited exposure to the outside world, with no mobile phones or access to social media. Places in the course are hotly contested, with students chosen from schools across the state based on their individual applications and principal’s recommendation. For 17-year-old Alana Balic-Bretherton the camp was an unforgettable experience. “It was a rare opportunity to participate in once in a lifetime activities and meet incredibly inspirational people who excel in their leadership qualities,” she said. “I will cherish the memories of overcoming the demanding challenges we all faced as a team, and

establishing a dependable support network with people I once called strangers who are now lifelong friends. “I learnt and developed leadership qualities that play a part in my present life and will continue to do so through my future decisions. I am greatly appreciative to have been a part of this experience.” Griffin Finlay-Brooks, who along with Alana received the camp’s leadership award, applied for the course after performing leadership roles with his football team and school. “I believed the camp would greatly benefit me, helping to improve my leadership qualities and my approach to everyday obstacles. However, the camp was much more in every way than I could have hoped, and I have come away from it a better leader and a better person,” he said.

The 17-year-old, who aspires to join the Army, believes the camp has changed the way he looks at life. “Throughout the camp, I realised that my limits and boundaries were not what I thought they were. I now recognise that there is always room to push myself that little bit further and achieve my full potential,” Griffin said. “The Youth Leadership Camp was easily one of the hardest physical, mental and emotional challenges I have ever faced in my life. We were pushed to our limits and beyond, and I’m incredibly grateful for it.” 

TOP AND BELOW: Camp participants enhance their leadership qualities. Photos: SAPOL Media and Public Engagement Section.

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Outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) have been put on notice with new laws providing the appropriate measures to disrupt and dismantle serious and organised crime groups.


he Statutes Amendment (Serious and Organised Crime) Act 2015 became operational on 6 August 2015. The legislation declared 10 gangs as criminal organisations, meaning it is an offence for members to associate in groups of three or more in public. It also prohibits the wearing of club colours or jewellery and accessories in licensed premises. The 10 gangs outlawed are the Bandidos, Comanchero, Descendants, Finks, Gypsy Jokers, Hells Angels, Mongols, Nomads,

Rebels and Red Devils. Detective Chief Inspector Scott Fitzgerald from Crime Gangs Task Force says the new laws have been successfully enforced by Operation Vanguard, a high profile and active policing campaign to ensure compliance with the legislation. “The legislation has resulted in a dramatic reduction in public OMCGrelated behaviour such as violence and antisocial activity,” he said. “It has given police a range

of powerful tools which can be used strategically, tactically and operationally to combat the illegal activity of these gangs who have a blatant disregard for community safety. “We are talking about people who are willing to commit serious assaults, intimidate people in our community with fear and be involved in unlawful drug distribution.” The latest figures indicate bikie numbers in South Australia have dropped since the new laws were introduced.

The latest figures indicate bikie numbers in South Australia have dropped since the new laws were introduced.





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There are now 251 recorded OMCG members, compared with 305 on 6 August 2015. “The legislation has resulted in a substantially more hostile environment for OMCGs to operate in and has led to the destabilisation and disruption of OMCG activities,” Detective Chief Inspector Fitzgerald said. The laws also proscribe bikie clubrooms where gang members are banned from gathering. “All identified OMCG clubrooms were vacated as a direct result of being declared

‘proscribed places’ under the legislation. SAPOL continues to investigate new premises being used as clubrooms as information is received,” Detective Chief Inspector Fitzgerald said. “The reduced ability of OMCG members and associates to meet at established clubhouses, gather in public, and take part in runs or other events is likely to destabilise these groups, reduce loyalty and impact the effectiveness of them as criminal enterprises.”


Police keeping a vigilant eye on bikies during an OMCG run. RIGHT:

Local OMCG clubrooms.




The reported reduction in public sightings and gatherings of OMCG members is accompanied by reduced offending, violence and public harm, which has had a positive impact on community safety. Officer in Charge of Serious and Organised Crime Branch, Detective Superintendent Craig Patterson, is pleased with the level of compliance and believes public safety has been enhanced by the legislation and the policing of it to date. “Legislation relating to consorting, public association and attendance at licensed premises has severely diminished the ability of OMCG members and associates to gather in any public setting,” he said.


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“It has also resulted in a complete absence of known OMCG runs in or through South Australia by any of the 10 declared South Australian OMCGs. “The reported reduction in public sightings and gatherings of OMCG members is accompanied by reduced offending, violence and public harm, which has had a positive impact on community safety.” Operation Vanguard is an enduring strategy utilising the resources of not only

Serious and Organised Crime Branch and Crime Gangs Task Force, but key areas across SAPOL and the wider police network, with assistance from the liquor licensing industry. “Vanguard is about ensuring compliance with the legislation but it also gives us an increased ability to undertake targeted and proactive investigations to further disrupt the criminal activity of OMCGs in South Australia,” Detective Superintendent Patterson said.

The new laws have led to an environment in which OMCG members and associates are less overt about their activities and membership. They are also becoming more sophisticated and dynamic in their criminal activities in response to changes in the criminal environment and attempts by law enforcement to counter their illegal conduct. “OMCGs are in the business of making money so they will modify their behaviour. It’s a landscape

MAIN PHOTO: Inside the Gypsy Jokers’ Adelaide clubrooms. RIGHT: Items seized from a

successful investigation into serious and organised crime. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Breaking the cycle of organised crime


that’s continually evolving therefore we need to make sure we continue to be at the forefront of investigating their activities,” Detective Superintendent Patterson said. “We’re applying these laws judiciously so that the community can have every confidence in what we do and be left in no doubt that we’re targeting criminal groups who operate with fear and intimidation; not law abiding mums and dads who ride motorcycles.”

he formation of an Adelaide strike team for the National Anti-Gangs Squad (NAGS) has intensified the battle against OMCGs in South Australia. The eight-member team is working closely with SAPOL to target the state’s most notorious OMCG members and their illegal activities. Embedded in SAPOL’s Serious and Organised Crime Branch, the NAGS Strike Team comprises senior SAPOL detectives, Australian Federal Police officers and an analyst from the Australian Taxation Office. NAGS works closely with the Crime Gangs Task Force to enhance and support investigations, and to provide the ability to access the information, intelligence and capabilities of federal agencies. Officer in Charge of Serious and Organised Crime Branch, Detective Superintendent Craig Patterson, says this is an important initiative in combating gang-related crime. “This move considerably enhances SAPOL’s capability to conduct major and protracted investigations into organised criminal activity involving OMCG members,” he said. “By working very closely with the Commonwealth agencies and using their resources and intelligence holdings collaboratively, we can have a significant impact on organised criminal activity and further enhance public safety.” The team has already had success with a joint operation between Serious

and Organised Crime Branch and NAGS. Operation Anna targeted a criminal syndicate involved in the trafficking of drugs including ecstasy, methamphetamine and cannabis by members and associates of the Descendants OMCG. In a 24-hour period, 10 premises across Adelaide were searched, resulting in the seizure of 2000 ecstasy pills, six ounces of methamphetamine, 11 kilograms of dried cannabis and 21 cannabis plants being grown hydroponically. The searches also uncovered traffickable quantities of cocaine and Fantasy, steroids, prohibited weapons and firearms, and approximately $145 000 in cash. This resulted in the arrest of three men, including a senior member of the Descendants. A further four men were reported for drug-related offences. “This successful operation highlights the results obtained from information sharing and joint investigations across agencies,” Detective Superintendent Patterson said. “OMCGs are violent predators who profit from the misery of drug manufacturing and trafficking, extortion, prostitution and firearms trafficking. We will continue to work collaboratively with NAGS to target organised criminal syndicates and ensure the safety of the community.” 

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McCoole committed a horrifying list of sex offences against children in his care. He would share videos and photos of him abusing his victims with fellow paedophiles around the world as the “CEO” of an international child pornography website with more than 45 000 members.



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The name Shannon McCoole instantly evokes feelings of disgust and disdain from anyone who knows about the evil and depraved crimes of the former Families SA child and youth worker. The convicted paedophile is now serving a minimum 28-year prison term for the vile sexual abuse of at least seven young children in his care and for transmitting child pornography on the internet.


cCoole’s victims were in state care, and were as young as 18 months old. The oldest was around four years of age. One had autism; another was disabled. McCoole committed a horrifying list of sex offences against children in his care between January 2011 and March 2013. He would share videos and photos of him abusing his victims with fellow paedophiles around the world as the self-proclaimed “CEO” of an elaborate and highly sophisticated international child pornography website


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with more than 45 000 members. Catching one of South Australia’s worst ever paedophiles was the culmination of an intense policing operation across two states. SAPOL’s Special Crimes Investigation Branch (SCIB) launched Operation Prism on 6 June 2015 – the day Queensland Police provided SAPOL with intelligence uncovered during a global policing operation into a child pornography website. The “Kid Zone” website (the name of the site and usernames mentioned in this story have been changed for legal reasons) was the world’s largest paedophile network, concealed within the Darknet. Its 45 400 members could access it only by using a sophisticated Tor encryption browser which conceals a user’s identity and makes it impossible to trace the IP address of the original computer. Queensland police from Taskforce Argos, in conjunction with police in various overseas jurisdictions, had discovered that the person running the site was an Australian, and likely living in South Australia, although their identity was unknown. All police had was a fourletter alias – “Skip” – which provided no clues about the person’s real identity. Detective Brevet Sergeant Stephen Hegarty from SCIB was tasked with the investigation. “It was quite surprising to know that someone in Adelaide had a significant involvement in managing and administering such a large paedophile website,” he said. In 2011, the administrator of the Kid Zone website, known online as A1, was arrested in Germany. Investigations revealed another senior member known as Skip. In June 2013 a Queensland man was arrested and charged with possession and distribution of child exploitation material. He

was a VIP member of the Kid Zone website. Investigators discovered that Skip was now running the website following A1’s arrest. In early 2014 a child sex offender was arrested in the Netherlands. He was discovered to be a long-term user of Kid Zone. Dutch police recovered a large amount of child exploitation material that suggested it had been produced by Skip and circulated between a tight group of Kid Zone users for their own private consumption. “Analysis of the images showed the vast majority of them were taken using a specific Panasonic camera, based on metadata contained in the photos,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty said. “The images depicted horrific abuse of at least three different children – a boy aged no more than four years old and two girls aged around four and two years.”

UNMASKING THE PREDATOR Detailed examination of Skip’s online activity by Taskforce Argos detectives uncovered an email address that linked Skip to an apparently fake Facebook profile in the name of Daniel Ithel. The profile stated he was from Seaford in South Australia. Further analysis of Skip’s online activity showed that on several occasions he had used the word “Hiyas” as a greeting in his messages.

“A search of internet users using ‘Hiyas’ as a greeting in board postings relating to the Adelaide area revealed mostly females used this greeting. However, the first male discovered using this term was a member of a four-wheel-drive forum under the username ‘Skudded’,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty said. “The username ‘Skud’ was found using ‘Hiyas’ in Adelaide-related posts on basketball forums and also posted on Reddit, with several posts suggesting the user worked in childcare with disadvantaged children. “The similarity of the usernames Skudded, Skud and Skip was evident.” A significant breakthrough was made when Skudded posted a photo of his Volkswagen Amarok – with the registration plate clearly visible – on the four-wheeldrive forum. In several other posts Skudded signed off as “Shannon”. “A registration check revealed the registered owner to be Shannon Grant McCoole. It was a significant moment in the investigation,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty said. With McCoole’s name now known, investigators undertook an extensive background search. This revealed previous work with children’s camps in the USA, at an Adelaide primary school, with Nanny SA and that he was working at Families SA as a carer for young children. McCoole

had also been the subject of an internal investigation at Families SA in June 2013 when he made inappropriate remarks to co-workers about a child’s bottom. An internal investigation conducted by his colleagues failed to find any evidence to take action against him. “We knew he was a family care worker at Families SA and had access to children and we couldn’t allow that to continue,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty said.

THE NET CLOSES IN During the initial Operation Prism investigation, Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty meticulously studied the disturbing images and videos produced by McCoole. “He had been careful to obscure his identity but I noticed he bit his fingernails and had a distinctive freckle on his left index finger and these little details would prove pivotal,” he said. With Skip having been identified as Shannon McCoole and knowing he was still working with children, police moved rapidly to apprehend him. At 7.30 pm on 10 June 2014 – just five days after investigations had started to identify Skip – members from SCIB, E-Crime and two observers from Taskforce Argos attended McCoole’s Oaklands Park residence. A Volkswagen Amarok was parked in the driveway. Inside the modest house McCoole

was preparing for a night shift but first he checked into his online life. A knock on the front door drew him away from this virtual world. It was Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty, armed with a general search warrant, and waiting in the shadows to reduce the chance of being seen by McCoole before opening the door. Upon opening the door McCoole was immediately detained and placed on a chair by Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty. Several other detectives raced in. McCoole appeared stunned. His online identity had been a secret, known only to him. Until now. “We found a laptop connected to an external hard drive on the coffee table. Although encryption software was running, it was not activated and E-Crime investigators quickly ascertained that the hard drive contained a backup of the Kid Zone website,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty said. “Although McCoole was not online, there were open links to it that allowed detectives to log on.” Sitting on the mantelpiece was the Panasonic camera McCoole had used to record his horrific abuse of children; on his finger, a small freckle that would be matched to the one seen in the images and videos. McCoole was arrested and charged with seven counts of unlawful sexual intercourse

and aggravated production of child exploitation material. McCoole was outwardly calm. He asked for a lawyer and declined to speak. For him, it was over. With McCoole now offline and in custody, Queensland detectives from Taskforce Argos secretly assumed Skip’s identity on the Kid Zone website and began running the Darknet paedophile network, using their unique position to pick off its faceless upper echelon one by one. The 10-month operation resulted in the identification of paedophiles around the world and the arrest of a number of suspected paedophiles in South Australia, Queensland and Victoria. The operation also identified many child victims who were saved from further abuse.

IDENTIFYING THE VICTIMS SCIB detectives then set about tracking down McCoole’s victims; the children whose lives he had irrevocably altered. Examination of the hard drive seized at McCoole’s house identified a folder containing his contact offending against multiple children. Investigators found 593 images and 57 videos in the folder. The material was horrific, with some victims appearing to be less than two years old. “At this stage my priority was identifying who these children were. Due to what I’d seen, I had significant concerns for their ongoing

welfare and the requirement for medical attention,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty said. The detective undertook a painstaking process to identify the seven victims of McCoole’s abhorrent abuse. Records from Families SA (where he worked from May 2012 until June 2014) and Nanny SA regarding McCoole’s employment were cross referenced for times and dates when children were under his care. “I compared previously taken medical photographs with the abuse images to match clothing, skin tones, gender, body blemishes and birthmarks, body features and body development,” he said.

He bit his fingernails and had a distinctive freckle on his left index finger and these little details would prove pivotal. LEFT: The distinctive freckle on

McCoole’s finger.

TOP: The Panasonic digital camera

used in McCoole’s offending.

OPPOSITE PAGE: Shannon McCoole

and his Volkswagen Amarok.

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“Metadata embedded within the images was also crucial for verifying the times and dates of the offending.” In July 2014 Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty performed the harrowing task of visiting the parents of the seven identified children to inform them of the dreadful news. Appropriate support and medical and counselling services were put in place for the victims and their families.

THE EVIDENCE BUILDS Due to the high definition of several images taken by McCoole on his Panasonic camera, fingerprints could clearly be seen. Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty took a disc of photos to SAPOL’s fingerprint section for analysis on the slim chance they would find a match to McCoole. “Within an hour I received a phone call saying the computer had found a positive hit on five of the images sourced from McCoole’s computer. Obtaining fingerprint evidence from photographs was a first for South Australia,” he said. The evidence against McCoole continued to mount up. Detectives identified McCoole’s handwriting in “proof pictures” – a handwritten message from the abuser used to authenticate the child abuse when distributed online to paedophile associates. “I located 14 images where McCoole had written words on a piece of paper or post-it note and placed it on the child during the abuse. It was then compared to examples of his handwriting, with 10 of the images positively linked to three of the identified victims,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty said. On 26 June 2014 a meeting was held with McCoole’s lawyer, where they were informed of the fingerprint evidence and the discovery of a partial facial image of


BL UE P R IN T IS S U E 1 ~ 2017

Inside McCoole’s house on the night of his arrest.

McCoole in one of the abuse videos. Faced with the sheer weight of evidence, McCoole consented to an interview which took place on 29 July 2014 at Mount Gambier Prison. “McCoole admitted to offending against four of the seven identified child victims. He also provided information about Kid Zone and confirmed he was the chief administrator of the site,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty said. “He minimised his offending and even provided excuses for some of it. Disturbingly, he also said he was proud of the website and his achievements with it.” McCoole agreed to further interviews in September 2014 and February 2015. Detective Brevet Sergeant Hegarty found McCoole to be highly intelligent and manipulative. “He was very selective in targeting his victims, preferring very young children who were incapable of reporting anything,” he said. “He was also extremely careful, abusing the children only when he was alone with them to reduce the risk of being discovered.”

JUSTICE SERVED McCoole pleaded guilty to all state and Commonwealth charges in relation to the seven identified victims. On 7 August 2015 he was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment with a nonparole period of 28 years – the longest sentence ever handed down to a sex offender in South Australia. The case also triggered the establishment of a Royal Commission into the state’s child protection system. The successful prosecution of McCoole was the culmination of outstanding investigative work over a prolonged period, often in very trying circumstances. At a SAPOL Medal Parade held in September 2016, Officer in Charge of SCIB, Detective Superintendent Mark Wieszyk, accepted a Unit Certificate of Merit on behalf of the investigations team in recognition of their significant contribution to Operation Prism. “During the investigation more than 120 statements were obtained, 87 carers and workers interviewed, and 79

children in care interviewed. Over 53 000 child exploitation images and 2400 videos were categorised,” he said. “Victim management was also a significant factor in this investigation with SCIB working closely with Child Protection Services and Families SA to determine the best course of action for the children involved.” Detective Superintendent Wieszyk believes the investigation was a significant challenge for those investigators involved. “The dedication and resilience applied was a credit to them,” he said. “Identifying the victims was a painstaking and horrific process for investigators. The whole investigation was shocking for police, the victims and the families of victims. “I believe McCoole would have offended again if given the opportunity so it’s satisfying to know that SCIB has played a significant role in ensuring he has been brought to justice for his despicable crimes.” 



TO THE TASK A graduation ceremony at the Police Academy. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

South Australia Police has a strong record and reputation of achievement and is widely regarded as a high performing organisation. It is also renowned for keeping the community safe. Regrettably, an independent review of the organisation commissioned in 2016 found that some employees do not share the same dedication to the safety and welfare of their own colleagues within the workplace. BLUE UEPR INTT ISSUE IS S U E 11 ~~ 2 0 1 7 BL PRIN




he findings in the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) Report, publicly released on 12 December 2016, provided evidence that sexual harassment and discrimination is occurring in SAPOL and has had costly implications for individuals, workgroups and the organisation. It is clear this is a negative element of the culture that requires changing. Commissioner Grant Stevens responded to the release of the EOC Report and formally apologised to anyone who has been the victim of or has experienced any inappropriate behaviour, and a statement to this effect was published and endorsed by all members of the Executive Leadership Team. “This report is the catalyst for change and I am committed to building a workplace that is safe, respectful and inclusive for all employees,” Commissioner Stevens said.


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“This report should not define all of us. What will define us is what we do, what we say and how we act to improve our culture.” Project Equitas has been established to implement the 38 recommendations detailed in the EOC Report. Project Director, Assistant Commissioner (AC) Bryan Fahy, is fully supportive of Commissioner Stevens’ commitment to enhancing SAPOL as an inclusive organisation. “Gender equity and all the positives it generates is a significant aspect of creating a more inclusive organisation and positioning SAPOL as an employer of choice,” he said. “The benefits are huge – organisations are proven to be more productive and effective; morale is higher; people are retained for longer and organisational and individual health is better.” Three team leaders have been appointed to Project Equitas to implement the recommendations across the streams of: workplace culture and behaviours; leadership and accountability; workforce management; training and development; flexible workplace culture; dispute resolution and complaints; and wellbeing and support services. KPMG have been engaged to assist with the development of an Organisational Change

Management model that will run in parallel with the implementation process.

SUPPORTING STAFF Several staff support mechanisms have been introduced to assist SAPOL employees. SAFE SPACE has been established to provide confidential advice and support for employees who have experienced or are experiencing sex discrimination, sexual harassment or predatory behaviour. The external and independent service is freely available to all SAPOL employees and immediate families. “I am pleased that a number of staff have taken the opportunity to reach out to SAFE SPACE and utilise their support services,” AC Fahy said. Task Force Portus is another key initiative arising from the EOC Review. The interim investigative initiative comprises a group of specialist investigators from various fields who are charged with receiving and investigating allegations of this unacceptable behaviour within SAPOL. “Task Force Portus provides a confidential opportunity for employees to report incidents of this nature. Most importantly, we are an

impartial investigation team,” Investigations Supervisor, Detective Sergeant Simon Bell said. “The team is already working on several investigations which have come to light since the EOC Report.” Facilitated by the EOC, a Restorative Engagement Program is being developed for employees to have their stories heard if they wish to do so. One of the program’s mediators, Kate Jensen, describes it as a unique program developed by the EOC for past and present employees who have experienced sex discrimination, sexual harassment or predatory behaviour in the workplace. “The Restorative Engagement Program offers a way for SAPOL employees to safely and confidentially tell their story of the harm caused and have their story heard and acknowledged by specially

day and tells me she wants to be a police officer, I will fully support her choice,” SC1C Shreeve added.


trained senior members of SAPOL,” she said. “Participants can speak about their experiences in a non-judgemental environment, with the process facilitated by an EOC trained mediator. “Restorative mediation was successfully implemented by the Australian Defence Force after a similar review and the effects were enduring and profound.” Site visits primarily conducted by Commissioner Grant Stevens and Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams in the first three months after the report’s release reached more than 1800 staff. The focus has now shifted to the Employee Engagement and Senior Officers/Managers sessions which allow employees to have their voices heard and get a shared

understanding of the issues. Sergeant Jarrod Ayres and Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Amber Shreeve are two of the 55 staff facilitators who are conducting the Employee Engagement sessions at the local level. Like many officers across SAPOL, they understand how valuable staff buy-in is in positioning SAPOL for the future. “I see SAPOL as a ship that requires turning in the right direction. It’s not going to be achieved through one large turn to see immediate change, it’s going to take small turns from everyone in the organisation to ensure we are heading in the right direction,” Sergeant Ayres said. “I want SAPOL to be a safe and inclusive workplace, so if my daughter comes to me one

High on the agenda is the development of a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. “This strategy will guide effort, investment and specific initiatives that will enable both men and women, sworn and unsworn, to equally realise their full potential,” Team Leader, Inspector Kylie Walsh said. “We know from initial engagement that flexible working arrangements are a high priority for many employees, and so considerable effort will be placed on this to ensure we get it right.” Work will be undertaken to establish a coordinated approach to internal complaint resolutions, which includes the development of a new Complaints Resolution Unit. “The creation of this unit is pivotal. It will be tasked with acting quickly on complaints and mediating outcomes, and implementing an efficient, confidential complaints

management tool,” Team Leader, Inspector Julie Foley said. Work will also commence on a gender equality advisory group representing a cross section of staff to offer advice to the Executive Leadership Team. “We are now presented with a fresh opportunity to think broadly and try different ways of doing things. Nothing is off the table for consideration so it’s an exciting time to make positive change in the way we work and how we treat each other,” Team Leader, Inspector Joanne Howard said. “Culture change by its very nature is challenging and can take time to get right – but we are in it for the long haul.”  MAIN PHOTO: Detective Sergeant Scott McCudden and Sergeant Donna Beck discuss the EOC Review at an Employee Engagement session. TOP: Commissioner Grant Stevens and Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams show their support for gender equality. BELOW AND OPPOSITE PAGE: Male

and female officers working together to keep the community safe; Commissioner Grant Stevens addresses a staff seminar. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.




The Band has maintained a workload of 300 or more musical and engagement tasks per year for the past decade, entertaining and educating South Australian communities across the state.

NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENT For 133 years, the Band of the South Australia Police has been in tune with the community, hitting all the right notes as it entertains young and old alike.


BL UE P R IN T IS S U E 1 ~ 2017


any people have declared the much-loved Band to be iconic, a label that has now been officially bestowed upon the Band with its official recognition as a State Cultural Icon. This prestigious honour was given to the Band by The National Trust of South Australia in a newly formed category to recognise cultural icons. The Band now becomes the second SAPOL icon,

with the Police Greys from Mounted Operations Unit previously listed as a State Heritage Icon. The Band was presented with a certificate marking the honour at a special ceremony held at Thebarton Barracks in October last year. Officer in Charge of the Band, Senior Sergeant Al Kidney, is humbled by this significant achievement. “The State Cultural Icon

status acknowledges the tireless work of the Band over the years in supporting community events and delivering safety messages to school students,” he said. “It also recognises the Band’s valuable role in police and military tattoos in Australia and overseas, and in providing ceremonial duties at official state events since its formation in 1884.” The Band has maintained

FOR ICONIC BAND a workload of 300 or more musical and engagement tasks per year for the past decade, entertaining and educating South Australian communities across the state. The iconic musicians can often be found maintaining harmony on the beat at viceregal events at Government House, street parades commemorating significant South Australian events, and regular police-initiated parades and events. The Band

has led the annual Christmas Pageant for more than 70 years and been instrumental in the success of the Royal Adelaide Show for many decades. “The Band has been a significant part of the state’s fabric,” Senior Sergeant Kidney said. “The Band continues to create strong links between police and the community, whether it’s at charity fundraising events

or performing at more than 100 schools each year as part of our School Beat Band program, spreading safety messages.”

MAIN PHOTO: The Band performing

at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne.

LEFT: Sergeant Adam Buckley with the medallion presented to the Band by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

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Band members meet Queen Elizabeth II. BELOW: Governor General

Sir Peter Cosgrove with the Band at the medallion presentation. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

A performance fit for a queen T

he Band’s strong reputation is not just confined to our state – it is renowned internationally as one of the world’s most entertaining marching bands, having appeared at several major international events including the military tattoos held in Basel, Switzerland in 2010 and 2013. In February 2016 the critically acclaimed Band impressed audiences at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne and Wellington. These performances set the tempo for a hectic year, with the


BL UE P R IN T IS S U E 1 ~ 2017

38-member Band travelling to England to perform at Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration at Windsor Castle from 12 –15 May 2016. For Drum Major, Sergeant Adam Buckley, gracing the grounds of Windsor Castle with the Band was a career highlight. “To be selected as the only Australian service band to perform at such a prestigious event marking Her Majesty’s milestone was a huge honour,” he said. “Performing in front of around 5500 people and

members of the royal family each night is an experience I’ll never forget.” The Band’s performances at both the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration were received enthusiastically, particularly the rendition of easily recognisable Australian tunes and pop melodies. “After the final performance at the Queen’s 90th birthday, Kylie Minogue made a special effort to come and speak to the Band after we performed two of her songs in our show,” Sergeant Buckley said.

“She was ecstatic at how we did it and was glowing in her praise of the renditions.” The Band was also highly regarded by their peers. “The British bands were in awe of our ability to play quite demanding music whilst achieving a level of drill and marching display prowess unheard of in their domain of performance,” Sergeant Buckley said. “Our efforts were also recognised by the Governor General who visited SAPOL Headquarters to deliver his personal thanks and appreciation and present a medallion to the Band.” This year sees Band members scale back their international performances, with a renewed focus on community engagement. Significant attention will be paid to supporting police in Elizabeth Local Service Area (LSA) for the first half of the year in their quest to reduce crime and the fear of crime. “We’ll be targeting schools in Elizabeth LSA to assist in improving student behaviour and reduce crimes such as graffiti,” Senior Sergeant Kidney said. “This is a significant departure from our normal regime in an effort to truly engage in targeted policing initiatives together with the LSA’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams”. 




What was initially a great idea for Port Adelaide LSA members has become Cops for Kids, with more than 1750 SAPOL members making regular voluntary payroll donations to support charities working with children.

Sergeant Gary Sporton with his wife Amanda and son Noah. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.




In 2006 Detective Brevet Sergeant Drew Bynoe approached his colleagues in the Port Adelaide Local Service Area (LSA) with an idea to raise money to help sick and disadvantaged children. Little did he know that this proposal would take hold, capturing the interest of generous staff across SAPOL and heading towards raising $1 million.


hat was initially a great idea for 70 Port Adelaide LSA members to raise money for children in need, has become Cops for Kids, with more than 1750 SAPOL members making regular voluntary payroll donations to support charities working with children. Cops for Kids recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Since its inception, countless families in the community have been supported by the group’s members who have donated in excess of $900 000 to more than 70 South Australian


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based charities. Detective Brevet Sergeant Bynoe is extremely proud of the charity. “Cops for Kids only exists to help sick and disadvantaged children – we have no other purpose. Every dollar contributed by members goes to the charity,” he said. “Cops for Kids is not a SAPOL corporate entity – it is a charity run by a like-minded group of people who work for SAPOL, retired from SAPOL or gone on to other occupations but still contribute. “Having had my own experience with a sick child I wanted to be able to do something positive to make a real difference to children and their families.” In the past year alone, $145 000 has been generously donated to a broad range of charities including Down Syndrome SA, Childhood Cancer Association, Backpacks 4 SA Kids and Asthma Foundation SA. “We often support smaller, lesser known charities that don’t receive the funding of larger charities. Our support raises their profile and generates much needed awareness, while providing vital funding for programs and equipment,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Bynoe said. “Many of these smaller charities have been involved with our members’ families at some stage.” Cops for Kids celebrated

their decade milestone by making their biggest donation to date. It has partnered with the Australian Pain Society and the Australian Pain Relief Association to offer an Australian-first research grant of $90 000 (over three years) to support clinical research exploring various aspects of paediatric pain management. “This is the type of project we hope can have a very real, positive impact on the lives of children in this state and indeed around Australia,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Bynoe said.

SUPPORTING COPS FOR KIDS IS CHILD’S PLAY Cops for Kids committee member, Detective Sergeant Martin Burke, says it’s easy to become a member and help Cops for Kids add to the 106 donations they have made so far. “Cops for Kids supporters can be sworn, non-sworn, retired or even ex-SAPOL members. In fact, around one in four SAPOL members make regular payroll contributions,” he said. “Becoming a Cops for Kids supporter is as simple as completing a sign-up sheet indicating how much you wish to have deducted from your pay. “Whether it’s $2 or $20 per fortnight, every little bit

counts. The more people who join the fund, the more that can be donated.” All donations are made to registered children’s charities that are carefully vetted. Members receive detailed updates whenever Cops for Kids makes a donation, and also receive an annual tax receipt. “Often people donate to charities and don’t know where the money goes, but we ensure that our members know where every Cops for Kids’ donation is invested,” Detective Sergeant Burke said. “Cops for Kids has struck a real chord with a lot of people as they can see the positive outcomes. We’re passionate about helping the community, not just in our policing roles but as people who care about children’s health and their future.”

TOP: Cops for Kids supporter

Sergeant Rosie Hebbard. OPPOSITE PAGE (TOP):

The Sporton family. OPPOSITE PAGE (CENTRE): Cops

for Kids committee members Senior Constable First Class Nick Patterson, Detective Brevet Sergeant Drew Bynoe and Alison Winterfield present a cheque to FMC Foundation representatives. OPPOSITE PAGE (BOTTOM): Sergeant

Hebbard and Detective Brevet Sergeant Bynoe with Associate Professor Peter Marshall in the FMC’s Neonatal Unit. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Donation gives birth to new hope

In May 2016 Cops for Kids reached a significant milestone with their 100th donation – $22 000 to the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation to purchase a Controlled Hypothermia Device for the Neonatal Unit at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC).

time. This led to concerning fluctuations in Noah’s body temperature during his first three days,” Sergeant Sporton said. “Thankfully we were one of the lucky families. We walked away from the hospital not just with our son being alive but also as a healthy ‘normal’ boy.”

During their stressful time in the hospital, the Sportons were shocked to hear that many medical items, such as the cooling device Noah required, were only able to be acquired as the result of fundraising. “After going through such an emotional situation, I gained a real appreciation for the various organisations that provide services and financial assistance,” Sergeant Sporton said. “This is why Cops for Kids is so important as they provide assistance to very vulnerable and innocent members of our community. “Their generous donation of a Controlled Hypothermia Device will not only be better for babies but also provide some peace of mind for parents who already feel helpless.” The Sportons are now enjoying life as parents of a healthy, happy and active toddler.

“Noah has been meeting all of his developmental milestones and continues to thrive. However, due to the cooling process he is required to have regular testing and assessment until he is five years old,” Sergeant Sporton said. Having experienced the anguish of their son’s health scare, Sergeant Sporton is encouraging colleagues to get involved in supporting the inspiring work of Cops for Kids. “After being in our situation, it’s quite humbling to think that a few dollars of pay deducted from a member’s salary each fortnight can contribute so positively to the lives of children and their families,” he said. To find out more about Cops for Kids, visit their website: 


he Controlled Hypothermia Device is used to rapidly cool babies who have experienced perinatal asphyxia (reduced blood or oxygen to the brain around the time of birth), which is a major cause of death and brain damage. The device enables the baby’s temperature to be safely maintained. Sergeant Gary Sporton and his wife Amanda know all about the importance of this life-saving device, having seen their newborn son Noah cooled for 72 hours at the FMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to prevent potential brain damage after enduring a difficult delivery. “Our son had to be cooled predominantly by wet flannels and pedestal fans as this device was not available at the

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TO RESTRAIN SERIOUS AND ORGANISED CRIME Valuable assets such as houses, luxury cars, jewellery and boats are all items people work hard to afford. However, for a rogue element in society, these are accumulated through the profits of crime.


dedicated section within SAPOL is targeting these criminals and stripping them of their ill-gotten gains. Confiscation Section, within the Commercial and Electronic Crime Branch (CECB), undertakes specialist investigations to identify, locate, quantify and trace the proceeds, instruments or benefits associated with


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serious criminal activity. Detective Senior Sergeant Tracey Murphy leads two teams that comprise two detective sergeants, seven detective brevet sergeants and one analyst. She is also responsible for a third team containing a detective sergeant and two detective brevet sergeants who are permanently deployed to the Unexplained Wealth Team and are supported by an investigational analyst. The Section also calls upon the expertise of forensic investigative accountants from CECB. “Our objective is to disrupt and dismantle the economic base of criminals and criminal organisations by applying the full rigours of the applicable legislation,” she said.

“While we target serious and organised crime, we also use the Criminal Assets Confiscation Act against lower-level drug manufacturers, dealers and traffickers who form the majority of the Section’s workload. “We also target instruments used by criminals to commit their crimes such as grow houses, brothels, and vehicles used in aggravated robberies.” In the last financial year $33.6 million worth of criminals’ cash and assets was restrained by Confiscation Section. This is almost triple the $11.8 million restrained in 2011-12. The number of restraining orders granted more than doubled over the same period from 47 to 109 in 2015-16. To maximise proceeds of crime opportunities, assets

and cash are seized to prevent them being destroyed or divested. This is followed by an application for a restraining order to prevent the assets being sold and remains in place pending a court outcome. Conviction of the criminal offence then triggers an application to the court by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have the asset permanently forfeited. “This substantial increase in restraining orders is a result of a change in investigative strategy under SAPOL’s Serious and Organised Crime Strategy, and an increase in productivity by

investigators in the Section,” Detective Senior Sergeant Murphy said. “Targeting those who are accumulating unexplained wealth and confiscating their cash profits and assets is a significant disabler of serious organised crime. “It is an effective tool to disrupt and deter crime, no matter what stage it is at.” Once an offender has been convicted, formal forfeiture proceedings are launched by the Office of the DPP. Such proceedings, usually in the District Court, are often contested, meaning it can take several years before a court order is made to forfeit assets.

In the 2015-16 financial year property worth $1.4 million was seized and retained for the purpose of undertaking proceeds of crime action. This included around $620 000 in cash, 56 cars, two quad bikes, one boat and one skid steer loader. During the same period the Courts granted Forfeiture Orders to the value of $1 946 414, of which $452 819.80 related to cash seized by police across SAPOL. “Significant orders have led to the forfeiture of homes, luxury cars, boats,

In the last financial year $33.6 million worth of criminals’ cash and assets was restrained by Confiscation Section. This is almost triple the $11.8 million restrained in 2011-12.

motorcycles and millions of dollars of drug money found hidden in suburban homes and in bank safe deposit boxes,” Detective Senior Sergeant Murphy said. “Once assets are forfeited by the courts they are sold in a public government auction process or destroyed.

All proceeds realised are immediately deposited in the Attorney-General’s Victims of Crime Fund.” Some criminals go to extreme lengths to conceal the proceeds of their

MAIN PHOTO: Police remove a Mercedes-Benz from a property during a serious and organised crime operation. ABOVE: A boat restrained by

Confiscation Section.




activities by legally using a web of professionals including lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and conveyancers to hide their wealth. “We are aware that those involved in organised crime are employing more professionals who assist them in hiding their assets, or structure their money in trust accounts or businesses,” Detective Senior Sergeant Murphy said. “They also come under our investigations as people who are enabling some of the money structuring and money laundering. “We also see laundering of cash through legitimate businesses or activities to

make it appear lawfully earned.” The constant growth in technology is also presenting challenges in uncovering the proceeds of crime. “Wealth is being concealed through digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, and the speed at which currency can be transferred on a global scale,” Detective Senior Sergeant Murphy said. “To combat this we work together with forensic investigative accountants, Electronic Crime Section and external agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office.” Confiscation Section (pictured above) works closely with other areas across SAPOL including Serious and Organised Crime, AntiCorruption and Criminal

Investigation branches and Operation Mantle. Last financial year the Section conducted 301 investigations, 49 more than in 2014-15. “For the past five years Confiscation Section has continued to place a greater emphasis on supporting Crime Service investigations, including tactical operation support, and providing greater

service delivery across SAPOL,” Detective Senior Sergeant Murphy said. “We have also identified and maximised opportunities to take proceeds of crime action against major criminal targets and outlaw motorcycle gang members. “Confiscation Section will continue to target anyone who is profiting from crime.”

A wealth of experience Detective Brevet Sergeant Mark Hay was working in Elizabeth CIB when he won a short-term secondment to a task force within Confiscation Section. More than 20 years later he is still in the Section, having lost none of his appetite for finding new ways to ensure crime doesn’t pay.


he role can be challenging but I find it rewarding to impart my knowledge to team members. Their enthusiasm sustains my motivation to achieve results,” he said. There is no such thing as an average week in Confiscation Section, especially for an experienced member dealing with a wide range of cases at various stages of proceedings. “My week will cover multiple tasks including


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Detective Brevet Sergeant Mark Hay and Detective Senior Sergeant Tracey Murphy discuss an investigation. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

enquiries to identify proceeds of crime opportunities, execution of productions orders on financial institutions, and the preparation and submission of restraining order applications relating to assets,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hay said. “I also deal with addressing applications made by the defence to have assets excluded from the restraining orders and regularly liaise with members of the Director of Public Prosecutions to settle confiscation proceedings.” Many investigations are complex and protracted.

“Most of the confiscation matters where further proceedings are undertaken will not be resolved for up to two years, but I’ve also had jobs which have not been resolved for seven years,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hay said. “The overall workload can determine the initial extent of the investigation. In many cases we will obtain restraining orders to stop proceeds and assets being divested and obtain financial material utilising the powers under the relevant Act; but then a job may be placed on hold until a criminal

conviction is recorded. “At this stage a financial investigation can be time consuming particularly if we have to rebut information supplied by the defence.” Confiscation Section members undertake regular training to ensure they’re up-to-date with the latest investigative techniques and technological developments. “Team members receive on-the-job training, with initial training in the Criminal Assets Management System database,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hay said. “We also have branch training days and regularly keep in contact with, and provide assistance to, our interstate counterparts.” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hay works closely with the Forensic and Investigative Accounting Section (FIAS) to delve into the background of people’s wealth and assess their capacity to actually have their assets and to live within their means. “The key role of the forensic accountants is to examine a target’s declared income and compare it to the assets that can be directly linked to

the individual. They analyse financial information that can go back many years,” he said. In recent years Detective Brevet Sergeant Hay has been involved in several significant investigations where he has called upon the expertise of FIAS. This includes Operation Affirm which focused on fraudulent activities involving Victims of Crime (VOC) compensation files managed by public servant Nicholas Lowe.

“Between December 2009 and August 2012 Lowe falsified documents in approximately 26 compensation files in order for six co-conspirators to claim monies from the VOC fund relating to crimes that never occurred,” he said. “In excess of $1 million in proceeds were then shared between Lowe and his coconspirators.” A financial investigation conducted by Detective Brevet

Sergeant Hay resulted in the granting of six restraining orders relating to seven defendants for assets valued at $1 550 666, which included houses, vehicles, bank accounts, cash and firearms. “In the 2013-14 period, four of the defendants’ confiscation proceedings were settled by way of forfeiture orders amounting to $98 113,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Hay said. “In 2014-15, three of the

defendants had forfeiture orders granted which realised $65 250. In the same period a forfeiture order up to the potential value of $535 300 was granted in relation to Lowe. Monies realised from these forfeiture orders have and will be deposited back into the VOC fund. “This result highlights our strong collaborative working relationship with AntiCorruption Branch, Major Fraud Section and FIAS.”

Operation sees criminals ditch their assets Drug and Organised Crime Task Force’s Operation Ditch commenced in January 2011 investigating suspicious packages being sent from New South Wales and Queensland to South Australia via the Australia Post mailing system.


nvestigators established that an organised crime syndicate was involved in large-scale cannabis production and distribution involving South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Between 5 January 2011 and 7 December 2011, the syndicate sent 52 parcels containing cash from Queensland to South Australia. Seventeen of the 52 parcels were intercepted and opened by police revealing cash in amounts ranging from $20 000 to $50 000. The cash in those 17 parcels totalled $488 600 with the average amount being $27 000. The cash was double bagged to prevent detection and the cannabis was

packaged in boxes. Based on a monetary estimate, investigators believed the syndicate may have trafficked in over 360 pounds of cannabis and more than $1.3 million may have been sent in payment for the cannabis. The resolution to the criminal investigation resulted in: • Seventeen addresses being raided in Adelaide, Wallaroo and Kadina. • Nine arrests in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland with charges including money laundering and cultivate a large commercial quantity of cannabis for sale. • Forty-nine pounds of cannabis, 88 cannabis plants and prescribed equipment seized in South Australia. • Eighteen pounds of cannabis seized in New South Wales. • The seizure of $452 160 cash. In South Australia three members of the syndicate each pleaded guilty in the

District Court to trafficking in a controlled drug. One member also pleaded guilty to trafficking in a large commercial quantity of a controlled drug in relation to a parcel of dried cannabis weighing over 2.5 kg packaged in six vacuum-sealed bags. A third person was arrested, charged and sentenced in New South Wales with respect to offences in that state. Confiscation Section commenced working together with investigators from the Drug and Organised Crime Task Force in July 2011. A comprehensive investigation was undertaken of people within South Australia, utilising members from the Forensic and Investigative Accounting Section who supported both the criminal and proceeds of crime cases. This resulted in $2.5

million worth of assets being restrained in South Australia and Queensland with forfeitures to the value of $400 000, including the outright forfeiture of a Harley Davidson motorcycle being realised. In addition a Pecuniary Penalty Order was granted by the Court in 2016 for $110 000 in relation to one of the accused, however this is currently subject to an appeal. Operation Ditch successfully dismantled a large national drug syndicate, with links in three Australian states. The cooperation between the Drug and Organised Crime Task Force, Confiscation Section and the Queensland and New South Wales police services was crucial in the successful dismantling of this organised crime network. 

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Covering more than 70 per cent of South Australia, Far North Local Service Area (LSA) is renowned for its remoteness and isolation. The vast expanses and unique diversity of policing issues within the LSA provide both a demanding and enriching environment for those who relish the challenge, such as Inspector Ian Humby who called Far North LSA home for the past seven years.


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fter a successful stint as Operations Inspector in Port Augusta, Inspector Humby departed the region for his home town of Adelaide in February this year to take up a Detective Inspector role at Internal Investigation Section. This ended a 26-year association with regional policing, having previously served in postings in Port Pirie, Ceduna, Kadina and Coober Pedy. ‘While its remoteness presented challenges, working in Far North LSA was a wonderful experience. It was an honour to serve the region and its people, and an experience I will never forget,” Inspector Humby said. “What I enjoyed most were the people – having the support of sworn and non-sworn police employees of all ranks as well as emergency services and government agencies.

“I also loved working in a wide range of fabulous locations across the Far North, including Innamincka, Marree, Wilpena Pound, the Breakaways near Coober Pedy, and the APY Lands.” Inspector Humby performed several roles during the past seven years, such as LSA Operations Manager, relieving LSA Commander at Far North and Yorke Mid North LSAs, Forward Commander at serious incidents (including murders) and Emergency Zone Coordinator. He also played a significant collaborative role with state, Commonwealth and business organisations on major issues at Port Augusta prison; military exercises at Cultana and RAAF Woomera involving deployment of personnel from Australia, the US and New

Zealand; and worked closely with Olympic Dam management in relation to anti-uranium demonstrations. “A significant part of my role was managing and supporting officers across the region and representing SAPOL and working with interstate police in connection with the cross-border policing scheme,” Inspector Humby said. The popular officer played a substantial role in supporting the local community, not only in police matters, but also with emergency and disaster management. Being responsible for the overall police response and recovery following the 2011 ABC helicopter crash at Lake Eyre North, in which three ABC staff were killed, stands out as probably his most challenging moment in Far North LSA.

“Managing the coordination of the police and emergency response from Port Augusta when the incident occurred 500 kilometres north at Lake Eyre was one of the most memorable, although tragic, circumstances I found myself in,” Inspector Humby said. “The critical issue was providing advice and arranging support for grieving relatives in three states throughout the night, which was made more difficult by the remote location of the crash. “Nothing could be confirmed until our officers arrived at the scene and due to the vast distances and flooding of Coopers Creek it took seven hours for the helicopter to arrive from Adelaide.” Inspector Humby also faced his fair share of other testing situations such as attending fatal vehicle crashes across the 670 000 kilometres of the LSA. “Some involved interstate and overseas tourists who had no understanding of travelling in remote conditions or drivers who simply fell asleep,” he said. “The devastation and the emotional fallout felt not only by affected families but responders was sometimes extreme.”

Another challenge was coordinating searches in remote areas. “A particular case involved the search for a wanted couple who, with their young children, were hiding in rough and remote country adjacent to the Strzelecki Track,” Inspector Humby said. “Local officers worked closely with STAR Group and the State Emergency Service to locate the family, who would likely have perished in the extreme conditions had it not been for the police response. The couple were later convicted for endangering life.” Now settled back in Adelaide, Inspector Humby reflects fondly upon his time in the Far North and more than two decades of regional policing. “Working in regional areas, especially in remote locations, has been a wonderful and very rewarding experience for me and my family,” he said. “I went to these locations not for financial remuneration or even promotion but for the positive and direct influence I had on police and communities. I learned so much and worked with great people, so it was sad to leave.” 

Inspector Ian Humby reflects on his rewarding career. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.




Over its lifetime, the heritage listed facility has played an integral role in SAPOL’s history. SAPOL recently commemorated 100 years of Thebarton Barracks, which was officially opened on 1 March 1917.


osting £16 000 to build, Thebarton Barracks was initially constructed for the use of mounted constables as the North Terrace Barracks were no longer suitable. The original buildings consisted of a kitchen/mess, administrative quarters, dormitory and stable groups, chaff mill, farriery, saddlery, exercise circuit and quarantine shed. The Inspector’s residence stood in relative isolation on the eastern extremity of the site. There was also provision for the Aboriginal Trackers who worked with the mounted police when required. The site chosen for the Barracks was controversial, with complaints the site was too far from the city for mounted men to travel in case of fire or other incidents. Over its lifetime, the heritage listed facility has played an integral role in SAPOL’s history.

The Barracks has been home to Junior Constable training, the Police Garage, Traffic Branch and Aged Driver Testing among others. It was also the original home of STAR Group until 2001. Today’s residents include Mounted Operations Unit, Dog Operations Unit, Road Safety Section, State Tactical Response Group, Police Security Services Branch, Traffic Camera Unit, Armoury Section, Band of the South Australia Police, and the South Australian Police Historical Society. The new Road Safety Centre, with its mock roadway, was opened adjacent to the Barracks in 2013. The history of Thebarton Barracks was the focus of this year’s commemoration of Police Foundation Day on 28 April. An Open Day was also recently held at Thebarton Barracks to celebrate the 100-year milestone with the community.

Blueprint magazine Issue 1 2017  

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 2017  

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