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Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme: Reducing the threat


2018, ISSUE 2


Crime prevention:


Adelaide Oval policing

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Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme > Operations:

Operation Addenine

> Technology:

Familial DNA

> Team profile:


> Community engagement:

Aboriginal artwork

© Copyright South Australia Police 2018

2018, ISSUE 2

From the Editor


New initiatives:

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

from SAPOL and the Australian Federal Police has enabled the identification and apprehension of sinister offenders across the globe, often through analysing their digital footprints. Analysis is also at the forefront of serious unsolved murder and sexual assault cases, with familial DNA testing offering police and forensic scientists a powerful new investigative tool. This sophisticated DNA technique can now be used to search more than 1.2 million profiles contained in the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database and unearth new leads. Another new avenue for solving crime is SAPOL’s facial recognition system. Using internationally acclaimed facial biometrics technology, intelligence officers can identify people of interest by matching images from various sources against those on SAPOL’s offender database. This issue of Blueprint also highlights the meticulous planning and strong, visible police presence that ensures safe and successful major events held at Adelaide Oval. There is an in-depth look at Operation Addenine which uncovered one of the largest drug distribution networks ever seen in the Limestone Coast, and a focus on the senseless murder of Jackline Ohide.


omestic violence infiltrates every structure of society and crosses all racial, cultural, age and socio-economic groups. In recent years SAPOL has responded to this insidious and complex problem, implementing a range of initiatives focusing on prevention and early intervention, collaborative responses, protecting victims and holding offenders accountable. These measures will soon be augmented by the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme which aims to better support those at risk and reduce the escalation of domestic violence and abuse. Whether it’s through family and domestic violence or from online predators preying on the vulnerable, children are often the innocent victims of others’ reprehensible actions. The dedicated and tenacious members of the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) continue to rid society of those willing to exploit children, while at the same time rescuing child victims from harm and preventing further abuse. The collaborative approach



ISSN 1448-1855 Editor and writer: Mathew Rodda Editorial Team: Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey, Superintendent Christine Baulderstone, Karina Loxton and Mathew Rodda.


Designed and printed by: Graphic Print Group

Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section; Brevet

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COVER Senior Constable First Class Elinor Arblaster and Senior Constable Jahna Perry comfort a mother and child. Photo: Adam Romanowski, SAPOL Photographic Section.

Sergeant Stuart Birch; Mount Gambier CIB; JACET; Forensic Response Section; South Australian Police Historical Society. Blueprint is produced by SAPOL’s Awards, Marketing and Events Branch, Police Headquarters, GPO Box 1539, Adelaide 5001 Internal Postcode: 120 Tel: 08 732 23294 – Fax: 08 732 23289

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


The District Policing Model (DPM) is arguably SAPOL’s most significant reform in decades.

Commissioner's foreword SAPOL is highly regarded for providing an effective policing service and maintaining a safe community. Our efforts have contributed to sustained crime reduction over many years. However, we operate in a changing world and cannot rely on the status quo.


ommunity expectations change, the complexity of crime is increasing, technology is evolving and austerity measures are compounding. This means we need to be innovative, agile and driven by best practice to stay relevant. SAPOL’s 2020 Roadmap

positions us to do this. Our focus on continuous improvement sees a number of important initiatives coming to fruition. The District Policing Model (DPM) is arguably SAPOL’s most significant reform in decades. I know this has been a fundamental change for many staff, transitioning from six Local Service Areas to four Districts, as well as adapting to the new State Crime Assessment Centre and Investigation Support Desk. However, it positions us well for the next phase of the DPM (see pages 23 – 25) and work has already commenced within the Districts to assist with implementation. Another milestone will be reached in October with the next release of Shield, bringing us closer to managing our operational policing records in one system from the initial response through to court outcomes. As with most technology changes,

I expect there will be some challenges transitioning from the old to the new, but I’m also confident the training, resources and preparation activities will pay dividends and we will soon reap the benefits of Shield’s expanded capabilities. The Equal Opportunity Commission has also recognised the changes we have made in achieving many of the 38 recommendations from their 2016 report regarding sexual harassment, discrimination and predatory behaviour but I acknowledge we still have more work to do on this front. The work in this space is integral in ensuring SAPOL has a culture where all employees feel safe, valued and respected. We are also going to see changes following the recent State Budget which enables us to revisit our resourcing model in front counter areas, prosecution services and create a new rapid response capability. We are currently developing this concept

which will see up to 45 police providing a mid-level tactical capability to support general duties and STAR officers in responding to terrorism and other high-risk incidents and supporting major events. New funding will also allow us to replace the 30-year-old firearms control system and progress the trial of 100 light armoured vests. The State Budget also included funding for an independent review of policing by retired Justice Kevin Duggan AM QC. This review will help to identify improvements to legislative provisions to streamline policing, reduce red tape, as well as other opportunities to benefit frontline policing. I wish to thank you all for your input, feedback and support of these changes and playing a part in positioning SAPOL to better enhance public safety.


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It’s Thursday, 12 July 2018 and thousands of passionate fans are streaming into Adelaide Oval for another memorable night of AFL action as the Adelaide Crows confront the Geelong Cats.


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t one end of the ground a large contingent of police cram into a room for their briefing on how to keep the crowd of 46 095 people well behaved. Senior Constable Mark Hann, a Planning Officer from Emergency and Major Event Section (EMES), addresses the 65 members from areas including uniformed foot patrols, bike patrols, Mounted Operations Unit and Traffic. Being a night game and with both teams sharing a strong rivalry, emotions amongst the crowd are expected to be high. Police

are reminded to be aware of disorderly behaviour and offensive language, the two most common offences committed by Adelaide Oval crowds. For Senior Constable Hann it’s business as usual. As the EMES planner for the 2018 AFL season he spends each game performing roles including setting up the police office, conducting briefings and debriefings, managing radio communications and the recording of patrol taskings within and around the venue, and liaising with

the Stadium Management Authority (SMA) and the Police Forward Commander. He is also responsible for communicating with external traffic members and coordinating police resources when incidents occur outside the ground. “SAPOL’s overarching role is to work together with the SMA and Adelaide Oval security to safely manage each game,” he said. “We assist security in identifying and responding to behavioural issues including offences, intoxicated persons, locating missing persons and

SAPOL’s overarching role is to work together with the SMA and Adelaide Oval security to safely manage each game.

crowd control. Outside of the stadium, traffic members and foot patrols assist in the safe and efficient movement of thousands of people away from the stadium towards public transport, car parks and the city.” Planning for an AFL season involves several months of meetings with stakeholders and critically analysing the previous year’s operation in conjunction with constructive feedback received from patrols and Police Forward Commanders and discussions with the Police Commander.

“Significant work goes into developing a detailed operation order and risk assessment, a 23-round staffing plan as well as traffic planning and coordination with traffic management groups,” Senior Constable Hann said. “It also involves engaging with Licensing Enforcement Branch regarding Barring Orders and other licensing issues and collaborating with the SMA to resolve any issues arising from each game.” Every AFL game is assessed before the season commences to determine

officer numbers required. Estimated crowd numbers, the scheduled day and time of the game and team rivalries are all considered. With a near full-house of noisy, passionate Crows and Cats supporters, officers are kept busy patrolling the crowd, particularly the bars and the Oval’s famous hill area which is packed with lively fans. More than 100 security officers are also on duty to ensure crowd safety. During the game police make only two arrests and one report, with no evictions. “Considering more than

one million spectators pass through the Adelaide Oval gates during an AFL season, with an average 45 000 at each game, the crowd is generally very well behaved,” Senior Constable Hann said.

EMES members and Adelaide Oval security staff monitor proceedings from the Emergency Operations Centre. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.





LEFT: Vigilant police and security staff in the EOC, and below, Chief Inspector Julie Thomas, Senior Constable Mark Hann and security supervisor Luke Snel.

While police patrol the ground throughout the game, a group of emergency services and security personnel led by Police Forward Commander Chief Inspector Julie Thomas are perched in the grandstand keeping a watchful eye on events from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). Surrounded by screens displaying footage from

Adelaide Oval’s 400 CCTV cameras, the team is ready to act on any incident. During the half-time break the large crowd is oblivious to a critical incident outside the ground where a male pedestrian has been hit by a car, resulting in King William Road being closed to traffic. Chief Inspector Thomas is now faced with the daunting challenge of how to deal with thousands of footy fans who will be streaming out of Adelaide Oval in just over an hour’s time. “Police, the SMA and the security team had to quickly collaborate and work closely with officers managing the incident outside the ground to ensure timely and accurate provision of information to oval patrons,” she said. “This was vital as the road closure affected the location and routes of the popular AFL Footy Express bus services. It also ensured the crowd safely exited the oval and did not compromise the accident scene. “The situation highlighted the need to be well prepared to professionally respond to an incident or emergency both inside and outside the oval if required.”


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Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Belinda Thomas from EMES said this successful resolution emphasises the close working relationship SAPOL enjoys with the SMA and security team. “Our relationship is the envy of all major stadiums around Australia and we are often asked how we’ve managed to make it work so effectively,” she said. “There is a shared professionalism, goodwill and keen desire to work together. “This has been integral to successfully running various major events at Adelaide Oval in recent years including the Ashes cricket test, A-League soccer grand final, Danny Green versus Anthony Mundine boxing bout, and the Adele concert which attracted the oval’s largest ever crowd of 68 000.” Adelaide Oval Security Manager Tony McGrath echoed these sentiments. “We have developed a strong partnership with SAPOL, in particular EMES and the Security Preparedness Unit. This ensures we consistently deliver safe and successful events,” he said.

Mr McGrath oversees the security staffing for the venue and all emergency management requirements. On game days he is based in the EOC and liaises directly with EMES planners and the Police Forward Commander. “Planning commences in the weeks leading up to a major event. The Adelaide Oval security team works closely with EMES and collaborates with the venue hirer such as the AFL, Cricket Australia and concert promoters,” he said. “The Adelaide Oval management team and the EMES Inspector attend event planning meetings where we discuss the current national and global threat environment, traffic management, crowd size and demographic, alcohol management plans and other events in the oval’s vicinity.” Meanwhile, the final siren sounds, signalling a Crows’ victory and another safe and effectively run event for SAPOL and the SMA. A mostly buoyant crowd heads out, passing the ongoing crash scene investigation outside the ground, with Mounted Operations and Traffic members providing a strong, visible police presence. “We work hard to professionally police large events while never losing sight of our ultimate aim of ensuring patrons feel safe and confident in attending mass gatherings,” SC1C Thomas said. 

Constable Matthew Guitink and SC1C Teresa Humphris on patrol during the half-time break.

We have developed a strong partnership with SAPOL, in particular EMES and the Security Preparedness Unit. This ensures we consistently deliver safe and successful events.

Officers keep an eye on fans arriving at the game. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.






In an act of desperation a male goes into the shed and starts putting up a rope in readiness to hang himself. Powerless to help, his female housemate calls Triple Zero, screaming hysterically.


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he day was 20 March 2017 and Brevet Sergeant Andrea Durbidge and Constable Stephen Page were on mobile uniform patrol. The Elizabeth-based duo responded to the police communication tasking and quickly headed to the Elizabeth Park address. Upon entering the shed the officers were met with the confronting scene of a male standing on a stack of tyres with a strap around his neck, and the other end of the strap secured around a shed rafter. He immediately leapt from the tyres in order to hang himself, but the quick thinking officers rushed to his assistance

and attempted to hold up his body to prevent him from suffocating. Their life-saving act was met with aggression as the male became agitated and started violently kicking and punching them in the face. Brevet Sergeant Durbidge then called for urgent assistance via police radio. “He was adamant that he wanted to follow through with his suicide plan and showed a lot of physical resistance,” Brevet Sergeant Durbidge said. Training, adrenaline and instinct were all crucial factors in responding to this critical incident.

“When we saw the male hanging we instinctively acted to cut him down as soon as possible. I seized a nearby Stanley knife and began cutting at the rope, while Stephen grabbed the male’s legs and held him up to ensure there was slack in the rope,” Brevet Sergeant Durbidge said. “We drew on our training in that we were able to maintain composure and negotiate with the male, despite him continually assaulting us and even trying to turn the Stanley knife on both of us. “We were running on adrenaline and knew it was highly likely that the male

Brevet Sergeant Andrea Durbidge and Constable Stephen Page at Elizabeth. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

For Constable Page, this was the first time in his five-year policing career that he had saved a life.

wouldn’t survive if we didn’t get the rope cut quickly.” As the blows continued to rain down on the two officers, back-up arrived. However, this was not without incident as the police vehicle collided with a stobie pole at low speed close to the address. The officer in the passenger seat fractured two vertebrae in her neck when her head was pushed upwards into the roof lining of the vehicle in the collision. Despite feeling immense pain, the injured officer quickly ran to the address and assisted Brevet Sergeant Durbidge and Constable Page in physically restraining

the male and removing the noose from his neck. Her rapid response prevented her colleagues from being further assaulted and stopped the male’s quest for self-harm. The male was subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act. For Constable Page, this was the first time in his fiveyear policing career that he had saved a life. “It was one of the most intense and challenging situations I have experienced as a police officer,” he said. “In these incidents your training kicks in and you do whatever it takes to protect yourself and your partner

while trying to safely and successfully resolve the matter. “I was lucky I didn’t sustain any serious injuries during the incident as I received numerous kicks and punches to the head when trying to hold the male up while Andrea was cutting him down.” The brave life-saving actions of both Constable Page and Brevet Sergeant Durbidge were recognised with Level 3 Local Service Awards, while the officer who came to their aid received a Level 2 Local Service Award. “The successful outcome in this incident strengthened my confidence in dealing with

high pressure situations,” Brevet Sergeant Durbidge said. “Although I’ve been involved in a few life-saving incidents, this one stands out due to the immediate change in the male’s behaviour once he was cut down and restrained. “It was rewarding to see that we were able to change the male’s perception of police during such an intense situation. He and his family that were present were immediately thankful for police intervention.” 

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More criminals are now facing the consequences of their actions with the eyes of the law focusing on them like never before thanks to the use of world-leading facial recognition technology. An Intelligence Officer views images of suspects on the facial recognition system. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.


ollowing a successful three-month trial, state-wide use of SAPOL’s facial recognition system commenced on 15 March 2017. Since then it has become an effective weapon to solve crimes faster, apprehend criminals earlier and assist with criminal investigations. According to Sergeant Steven Bottrill from State Intelligence Branch (SIB), facial recognition is a powerful investigative tool. “The technology allows SAPOL to monitor, scan, detect and search images of suspects, even poor quality photographs and video streams, for matches against images on the offender database,” he said. “The SAPOL database contains around 350 000 images, representing more than 115 000 people who have previously been arrested in South Australia. These images comprise new custody photographs imported from Shield (SAPOL’s records management system) every six hours and CCTV images of unsolved crimes.” SAPOL’s facial recognition system uses NEC’s internationally acclaimed NeoFace Reveal facial


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biometrics technology which features an algorithm recognised as providing the world’s highest authentication accuracy and speed. “The technology analyses the characteristics of a person’s face by measuring overall facial structure, including distance between eyes, nose, mouth and jaw edges to create a facial signature,” Sergeant Bottrill said. “The system uses an algorithm that maps the face and gives the picture a numerical number. This facial template is then inserted into the database, with more than 170 intelligence officers trained to use the software and identify people of interest. “A candidate list is generated for the investigator who then applies their training and investigative skills to identify the suspect. The system does not provide evidence of identification, but it can and does provide strong investigatory leads.” The facial recognition system can deal with factors

such as age differences between images and people masked by hats, sunglasses or helmets. “The largest age gap was a 33-year-old male who was matched to an arrest photo taken when he was 17,” Sergeant Bottrill said. “Facial structure remains the same regardless of age. Dramatic weight loss or traumatic injury, even plastic surgery, won’t escape the eye of our facial recognition system. “Hats and sunglasses won’t mask someone in high quality CCTV images. We recently identified a male wearing a motorcycle helmet and sunglasses, and have also identified people wearing balaclavas.” The ability of facial recognition technology to solve crimes faster depends on the quality of images added to the database. High definition images containing more pixels provide a far greater chance of success. “SAPOL has been working with major shopping centres

in the positioning of their CCTV cameras in order to capture clear face images,” Sergeant Bottrill said. “We have also liaised with significant transport hubs and councils regarding their upgrades to ultra-high definition cameras and how this can enhance our facial recognition capability.” Sergeant Melissa Gilchrist from IS&T Service’s Frontline Technology Section stresses the importance of obtaining clear, high quality images, especially with custody photos.

We recently identified a male wearing a motorcycle helmet and sunglasses, and have also identified people wearing balaclavas.

“Cell guards need to capture a well-focused, frontfacing image of the person’s head and shoulders with their eyes open and ensure it is correctly labelled in Shield,” she said. “It’s also vital that we receive the best available CCTV footage of the suspect, whether at the actual location or somewhere nearby. Everything is connected – from when the custody photo is taken to possibly years later when CCTV or other images are obtained.” Having played an integral role in establishing SAPOL’s facial recognition capability, Sergeant Gilchrist can see it being used in more ways in the future. “Frontline Technology Section is exploring opportunities. Achieving timely and successful investigative outcomes from using the facial recognition system will provide strong evidence to support further expansion,” she said.

Facing the consequences • A male enters a car dealership, obtains keys for a test drive and steals the car. A patrol visits the dealership and sends CCTV footage to the Intelligence area which runs a search on the offender database and finds a potential match. The patrol attends the male’s residence and finds the stolen car in the driveway. The whole process from the car being stolen to offender arrest and car recovery was approximately 90 minutes.

• A car is broken into and credit cards stolen. One of the credit cards is then used at a fast food outlet equipped with high-definition cameras, providing police with a clear shot of suspects’ faces. No match is found in the database so the images are added to the unknown watch list. Four weeks later one of the suspects is arrested for an unrelated matter, has his photo taken for the first time and entered into the facial recognition system via Shield. A second database search confirms a match with the CCTV image from the fast food outlet.

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A domestic violence victim discusses her situation with an officer and support worker. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

The statistics are damning. At least 35 South Australians have died as a result of domestic and family violence since mid-2010 and about 25 000 domestic violence matters are reported to SAPOL each year. One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15 and across the nation at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner.


omestic and family violence is a growing epidemic. SAPOL has been at the forefront of the response to this insidious crime with initiatives such as the Family and Domestic Violence Branch, Multi-Agency Protection Service (MAPS) and the Family Safety Framework. Members are also co-located and working closely with agency partners at the Multi Agency Assessment Unit and Multi Agency Hub. SAPOL will


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soon play a significant role in the 12-month trial of the new Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS). Launching on 2 October 2018, the scheme will allow South Australians worried they may be at risk of domestic or family violence to apply to SAPOL to ascertain if their current or former partner has a history of violence. A similar scheme called ‘Clare’s Law’ was introduced

to the United Kingdom in 2013 after the brutal 2009 murder of Clare Wood by her violent and obsessive ex-boyfriend. She had no knowledge of his criminal past involving two prison terms for offences against women. Officer in Charge of Family and Domestic Violence Branch, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Humby said the DVDS is designed to reduce the escalation of domestic violence and abuse.

“It will enable earlier intervention by strengthening the ability of police and other agencies to provide appropriate support to those at risk,” he said. “Information disclosed may include convictions for physical and sexual assault, property damage, stalking and unlawful threats, and also charges for such offences which were dropped or acquitted. “Current and historical intervention orders, including breaches, along with convictions for relevant offences committed outside of South Australia will also be included.” The DVDS will introduce recognised and consistent procedures for disclosing information. “An application may be made by anyone in South Australia who is aged 17 years or over and has legitimate concerns about their safety in relation to a current or former intimate partner, where there is ongoing contact. It is not an emergency response service and is not designed for members of the public wanting to report criminal or high-risk behaviour. If that is the case, other reporting mechanisms apply,” Detective Chief Inspector Humby said. “An application may also be made by a third party such as a friend, relative or professional working with the family. “The disclosed information will allow the person at risk to make an informed decision about their safety and take appropriate action.”

Applications for disclosure will be available on the SAPOL website and if anyone has issues with internet access or otherwise has difficulty completing the form they may seek assistance at a police station. “The disclosure will only be provided verbally, with police and a specialist domestic and family violence worker present at all disclosures to ensure that the person at risk is provided with appropriate levels of support and safety planning,” Detective Chief Inspector Humby said. “Information disclosed is confidential and assurances sought that details of the meeting will not be provided to the person causing the concerns.” A similar scheme currently being trialled in New South Wales is credited with saving more than 50 people at risk of violence. “The South Australian trial will draw upon what has been learnt from the UK and NSW schemes to ensure that the DVDS meets community expectations,” Detective Chief Inspector Humby said. “We have worked closely with our partner agencies including the Office for Women, Women’s Safety Services SA (WSSSA), and the Attorney General’s Department in the development of this initiative. Their continued participation remains crucial to the scheme’s success.”

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) is designed to reduce the escalation of domestic violence and abuse.




WSSSA will provide specialist domestic violence support to applicants receiving a disclosure from SAPOL including assessments of risk, safety planning, domestic violence counselling and referral to specialised support services.


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Senior Constable First Class Elinor Arblaster consoles a young boy. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

TAKING CONTROL Chief Executive Officer of WSSSA, Maria Hagias welcomes the introduction of the DVDS. “The DVDS enables early identification of potentially violent relationships. It will allow people to recognise patterns of controlling or abusive behaviour and make informed decisions relating to the risk to them and their children and their safety within that relationship,” she said. A database kept by WSSSA shows there are at least 400 men in South Australia who reportedly have a history of hurting multiple women or children.

“Perpetrators of violence use many tactics to gain power and control within the relationship, which may involve the concealment of previous violent behaviours or relationships,” Ms Hagias said. “The new scheme has the potential through information provision for people at risk and their children to avoid exposure to violence and abuse.” WSSSA will provide specialist domestic violence support to applicants receiving a disclosure from SAPOL including assessments of risk, safety planning, domestic violence counselling and referral to specialised support services. “Assistance will be provided state-wide to ensure that wherever a disclosure is made to someone, they have access to support, counselling and safety planning,” Ms Hagias said. “The scheme will enable individuals to access services they may not have previously been connected with and promote a multi-agency response to domestic violence.” 




SC1C Nick Patterson at Millicent Swimming Lake, and opposite page, at Millicent Police Station. Photos: Brevet Sergeant Stuart Birch.



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The day after celebrating Christmas with his wife and three children, Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Nick Patterson found himself giving someone the greatest gift of all.


riving past the Millicent Swimming Lake on Boxing Day last year, the 10-year veteran of Limestone Coast Local Service Area (LSA) rapidly responded to a report of a potential drowning. He arrived at the lake to find two people performing CPR on Mieke Owen-Philips who was unresponsive and had no pulse. “She was not breathing and had turned purple, the colour of deceased people I’ve become all too familiar with through policing,” SC1C Patterson said. “I noticed that the chest compressions were not being performed deep enough and her airway was blocked so I took over compressions and gave clear instructions to the male managing her airway. I was relieved to see Mieke’s chest rise when he gave her two breaths.” SC1C Patterson remained calm and in control despite extreme emotional and physical pressure. His courageous actions saved the life of Ms Owen-Philips and highlighted the importance of his police training and surf lifesaving skills. “I had completed my bronze medallion proficiency test for surf lifesaving earlier in December 2017 and that training was still fresh in my mind,” he said. The quick thinking officer’s heroic deed was acknowledged by SAPOL with a Certificate of Commendation. However, this was not the first time SC1C Patterson had saved a life. At the age of 14 while out with a group of friends he

You may have to work alone or with very limited resources but you end up really connected to your community and can see that you make a difference. pushed one of them out the path of a speeding car but was himself hit, breaking his right tibia and fibia, right-side ribs and right shoulder. Told by the surgeon he wouldn’t be able to run until he was 21, SC1C Patterson focused on his rehab and found a broader sense of purpose in life. The next year he started playing rugby union and in ensuing years represented the South Australia schools, and the state under 18 and under 21 teams in national championships. At 21 he was awarded the Ray Herde Shield for the best under 21 player in South Australia. It was this tenacity and willingness to succeed that eventually led SC1C Patterson to leave a hospitality career to follow in the footsteps of his father Chris and grandfather Ivan Patterson and become a police officer. “My grandfather passed away the year before I was born, but from a young age my Nanna would ask me if I was going to join the police,” SC1C Patterson said. Joining SAPOL in 2001, SC1C Patterson worked in Hindley Street patrols and as a Field Intelligence Officer before moving to Millicent with his family in 2008. The following year he started a four-your stint as Officer in Charge in Beachport before returning to Millicent in 2014, where he now works alongside the Sergeant in a supervisory role. The popular officer finds country policing extremely rewarding. “You may have to work alone or with very limited resources but you end up really connected to your community and can see that you make a difference,” SC1C Patterson said. “The trust and support of your local community is very important. From my

experience I can say that country policing gives a lot more back to police officers.” SC1C Patterson’s community involvement extends well beyond his police work. He has been instrumental in establishing the Beachport Surf Life Saving Club and served as club captain and vice president for the past two years. For the last five years he has also been a committee member with Cops for Kids – a registered children’s charity supported by more than 1800 current and former SAPOL employees. Since 2007 it has donated over $1.1 million to 120 charities supporting sick or disadvantaged children in South Australia. While working in a close-knit community has enriched SC1C Patterson’s role, it has also presented challenges and heartbreak. On 9 December 2014 he was tasked to a grass fire at Rendelsham but upon arrival the gravity of the situation was revealed.

“A senior member of the CFS had been injured in a collision between units at the scene. On the way I was advised that it was Brian Johnston who was a friend and the father of one of the officers at the scene – a close friend I had gone through the Police Academy with,” he said. “A short time after arriving he passed away in the arms of his son. It was a horrific tragedy that bore a significant toll on those who attended. “Sergeant Rick Errington and I took care of the officer who had lost his father and then attended all of the family members’ homes to deliver the sad news. “Brian was a long-term volunteer who died serving his community. His untimely death made me even more committed to being involved in the local community and making a difference.” 

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The Limestone Coast is home to some of South Australia’s most spectacular natural wonders but in August 2016 it gained notoriety when detectives from Mount Gambier and Millicent uncovered one of the largest drug distribution networks in the region’s history. 16

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peration Addenine commenced in January 2016 to target the drug trafficking activities of Hayden McIntosh and Benjamin Cutting in the Limestone Coast Local Service Area (LSA). Over several months, the diligent investigative work of Limestone Coast LSA police, Adelaide-based officers and Victoria Police uncovered links with illicit drug suppliers in Adelaide and Melbourne. Detectives achieved their first success on 4 March 2016 when Troy Sharam was arrested during a property search at Glencoe. They located 48.92 grams of methamphetamine, $18 647 cash and a

.18 revolver. Sharam and a 21-year-old Naracoorte woman were charged with trafficking in a controlled drug, possession of a class H firearm and unlawful possession of the money. “Investigations established that Sharam was the prime mover in the drug trafficking business, frequently selling large quantities of methamphetamine in the Mount Gambier area to end users and other drug dealers,” said Detective Brevet Sergeant Nick Smith from Mount Gambier CIB. “Intelligence located during this arrest indicated that a person of interest, David Puckridge, was involved in trafficking

substantial amounts of methamphetamine in the Limestone Coast region.” Days before his arrest Sharam had travelled to Melbourne with Puckridge to purchase a large quantity of methamphetamine. Despite now being in custody, Sharam tried to keep the drug business afloat. Between mid-March and mid-April 2016 he made a series of telephone calls to Puckridge attempting to persuade him to find someone to falsely claim responsibility for the drugs and gun located by police on 4 March. Sharam also sent Puckridge a letter outlining this plan along with a list of names and amounts owed by various people to whom

ABOVE and RIGHT: Fantasy, methamphetamine and a firearm seized during the operation. MAIN PHOTO: The Mount Gambier roadside location where police intercepted a large quantity of methamphetamine. Photos: Mount Gambier CIB.

While Tippins had a more minor role in the business compared to Puckridge and Sharam, he was integral to its successful operation and ultimate demise.

Sharam had supplied drugs. Puckridge became the ringleader of the drug business and between 9 April and 28 May 2016 was involved in purchasing 1078 grams of methamphetamine and 17 litres of fantasy, for a combined purchase price of $161 900. “On 1 April 2016 Cutting was incarcerated on other matters and a decision was made to exchange Cutting with Puckridge as one of the two primary targets of the operation,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Smith said. “Telephone Interception Section then played a pivotal role in analysing the activities of McIntosh and Puckridge.” An additional target was

then added to Operation Addenine, being person of interest Shane Tippins. While Tippins had a more minor role in the business compared to Puckridge and Sharam, he was integral to its successful operation and ultimate demise. On 2 March 2016 communications between Tippins and Sharam revealed Puckridge was travelling back from Melbourne with 56 grams of ice for Tippins. Specialist Investigation Support Branch resources then identified that Tippins was involved in the sale of small amounts of ice at three different locations in Mount Gambier on both 12 May and 26 May.

Jailed drug trafficker David Puckridge.

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Convicted drug dealer Troy Sharam.

On 15 June 2016 detectives and uniform police from Mount Gambier executed a search warrant on a local caravan park cabin owned by Tippins, seizing a baton and knuckle dusters and $6543 cash. “Tippins was arrested and charged with three counts of trafficking in a controlled drug namely methamphetamine. A 25-year-old Mount Gambier woman was also arrested and charged with two counts of the same crime,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Smith said.

ON THIN ICE Operation Addenine was also monitoring Jason Climas, who played a relatively secondary role, principally as either courier or delivery man, during Puckridge’s offending. “Climas was heavily involved in the collection and delivery of drugs in South Australia and Victoria in a number of transactions throughout April and May, and kept in regular contact with Puckridge,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Smith said. On 24 May 2016 Puckridge arranged for Climas to leave 73.3 grams of methamphetamine under a road sign 50 metres from a caravan park on the outskirts of Mount Gambier for fellow drug trafficker Hubert O’Halloran to collect. That same evening police seized the drugs after acting on intelligence regarding O’Halloran, Puckridge and Climas. “O’Halloran had earlier given Puckridge cash to


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purchase the drugs on his behalf. At the time of the seizure O’Halloran was in NSW visiting family and arranged for an unknown person to collect it,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Smith said. “One party thought it had not been dropped off; the other thought it had been collected. It wasn’t until O’Halloran returned from NSW that they realised it had gone missing.” Despite this setback, Climas and Puckridge drove to Geelong on 27 May 2016 to purchase 12 litres of fantasy for $11 800. They then travelled back from Geelong to a Hillcrest address in suburban Adelaide, arriving just after 6.30 pm on 28 May 2016. Mount Gambier CIB members were amongst a group of police waiting for them. They arrested Puckridge, Climas and a 39-year-old Yahl woman who were each charged with large commercial trafficking of a controlled drug. Puckridge was later charged with a total of 13 counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, along with multiple counts of trafficking in fantasy, several firearms charges and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Hayden McIntosh’s house, and below, the mess inside. Photos: Mount Gambier CIB.

Shane Tippins’ caravan, and above, what police found inside. Photos: Mount Gambier CIB.

Climas and Puckridge’s hire car at Hillcrest, and top left, cash on the front seat. LEFT: Ice found in Tippins’ caravan. Photos: Mount Gambier CIB.

“They were in a hire car that contained 12 litres of 1,4-Butanediol (fantasy) with an estimated street value of $84 000,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Smith said. “Police also seized 36.49 grams of methamphetamine, 18 ecstasy tablets and small amounts of heroin, cocaine, MDMA powder and cannabis resin throughout the vehicle along with $9075 cash.” Following the trio’s arrest, detectives spent the ensuing two days searching properties in Mount Gambier and Millicent, seizing a firearm, methamphetamine, fantasy, cannabis and $8855 cash.

A BITTER PILL On 9 June 2016 police arrested McIntosh and charged him with 32 counts of trafficking in methamphetamine. Throughout the next few months police continued to apprehend those involved in drug trafficking, resulting in a total of 15 people being arrested and charged with drug offences. Operation Addenine uncovered $43 000 cash, 305 grams of methamphetamine and 12 litres of fantasy. Police recovered three stolen vehicles and located

four firearms. Ten motor vehicles and five motorcycles were also seized pursuant to confiscation of profits legislation. Puckridge was sentenced to just under nine years in prison, with a non-parole period of five years and six months. Sharam received a non-parole period of three years and six months, O’Halloran was given three years’ non-parole, while Tippins and Climas each received two years’ nonparole. Officer in Charge of Limestone Coast LSA, Superintendent Grant Moyle believes Operation Addenine significantly disrupted the local drug trade. “It prevented 3050 street deals of methamphetamine and 12 000 street deals of fantasy – highly addictive drugs that cause great social harm in our local communities,” he said. “Operation Addenine was an outstanding success thanks to the dedicated efforts of the local detectives and other police involved. “I encourage the local community to work with police and continue to report any information on illicit drugs to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

The police raid on Hayden McIntosh’s house. Photo: Mount Gambier CIB.

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Familial DNA testing is a sophisticated DNA technique that can identify potential biological relatives of an unknown DNA profile, where a direct match on the state or national DNA database has not been obtained.

Dr Damien Abarno from FSSA discusses familial DNA testing with Detective Brevet Sergeant Chay Summers. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.




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A powerful new investigative tool is helping police and forensic scientists to unlock serious unsolved cases such as murder and sexual assaults.


amilial DNA testing is a sophisticated DNA technique that can identify potential biological relatives of an unknown DNA profile, where a direct match on the state or national DNA database has not been obtained. The same crime scene profile is then run through the database again using an advanced program to identify a list of profiles that are genetically similar to the crime scene profile. “This list is further reduced through more intensive testing. Once a person has been identified as a possible family member, investigators make enquiries to ascertain their relatives and identify the suspect,” said Detective Brevet Sergeant Chay Summers from Special Crimes Investigation Branch (SCIB). “If a suspect is found on the list, they are DNA tested to either confirm or discount them from the investigation. “For familial DNA searching to be successful, a biological relative of the unknown suspect must be present in the DNA database. The closer the relationship, such as parent-child, the greater the chance the relative will be identified through a familial DNA search.”

This innovative approach has recently been enhanced by the introduction of new software associated with the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database (NCIDD), allowing familial DNA searching to be conducted nationally in an effort to solve serious cases. The NCIDD contains more than 1 217 500 DNA profiles, including around 177 700 from South Australia, primarily from crime scenes, suspects and convicted offenders, along with a small number across the categories of missing persons, unknown deceased and ‘unlimited volunteers’. “The NCIDD offers greater opportunities for familial DNA testing, with the potential to provide investigative leads for serious unsolved crimes including homicides, sexual assaults and armed robberies,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Summers said. SCIB used familial DNA testing in 2015 to successfully identify the ‘North Adelaide rapist’ – Patrick Mark Perkins – after an exhaustive forensic

process that found a close relative’s DNA profile on the database. Perkins was subsequently charged and convicted on multiple counts of rape. “The success in that investigation has made familial DNA testing an option we consider when investigating sexual crime cases,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Summers said. “It is one of several significant advances in DNA technology that are creating exciting opportunities for investigators when reviewing unsolved cases.” Forensic Science South Australia (FSSA) has been a pioneer in this field in Australia, having conducted familial DNA testing in more than a dozen cases. “Some of these cases have involved multiple searches. If a close relative is not identified in a search, the search is repeated every 1-2 years, as thousands of new DNA profiles are uploaded to the DNA database each year,” said Thomas Sobieraj, Manager Biology at FSSA.

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“One familial search has resulted in a conviction to date, however familial searches have provided SAPOL with useful information to assist other active investigations. We also expect many more cases to be assisted in the future as we start using the new software and applying familial searches to DNA profiles on the national database.” SAPOL restricts usage of the DNA technique to the most serious offences. Any request for a familial DNA search must be authorised by the Familial Testing Advisory Group (FTAG) which comprises the Officers in Charge of Serious Crime Coordination Branch and

Forensic Services Branch, and both the Assistant Director Operations and Manager Biology from FSSA. “This strictly controlled, targeted process ensures that the limited resources of FSSA are directed towards appropriate cases,” Mr Sobieraj said. “While the DNA search itself is quick and facilitated through computer software, the subsequent activity is complex, time consuming and expensive. “A familial search can generate a list of dozens or several hundreds of people who could be in a parentchild or a sibling relationship with the unknown offender. If the unknown offender is male, we then test all the males in the results using a Y-chromosome DNA test kit. “It can be a resource intensive process for both FSSA and investigators but is proving to be a powerful crime-solving technology.”

We expect many more cases to be assisted in the future as we start using the new software and applying familial searches to DNA profiles on the national database.

Operation Earnest I

n 2012 two women aged in their early 20s were brutally attacked in separate incidents at night in Gover Street and Pennington Terrace in North Adelaide. DNA evidence was recovered linking both incidents to a single unknown male offender. The DNA profile did not directly link to any person on the NCIDD. After policing avenues were exhausted, investigators received authorisation from the FTAG to conduct a familial search in 2015. Following the search of


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the South Australian DNA Database and additional Y chromosome DNA testing, one person could not be excluded as a relative. The name of the potential relative was reported to police and following further investigation, Patrick Mark Perkins was arrested for the crimes in July 2015. Perkins was a close biological relative of the person identified by the familial search. In October 2016 Perkins pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and one of assault with intent to rape. He was sentenced to 12 years’ jail, with a non-

parole period of eight years backdated to July 2015. “This was the first time that familial DNA testing had resulted in an offender being identified and charged, and subsequently convicted, in Australia,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Summers said. “FSSA did an outstanding job in helping detectives achieve a breakthrough in this case.”  RIGHT: The identikit and real photos of Patrick Mark Perkins, and above, the crime scene in Gover Street, North Adelaide.


District Officers in Charge, Superintendents Anthony Fioravanti, Guy Buckley, Yvette Clark and Craig Wall. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.



SAPOL has commenced its most significant restructure in almost 20 years to strengthen frontline services and deliver public safety.


n 5 July 2018 six metropolitan Local Service Areas (LSAs) became four policing Districts (Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western) in the first stage of the District Policing Model (DPM) implementation, which also involved the consolidation of intelligence operations. DPM project sponsor Assistant Commissioner (AC) Noel Bamford believes the new model, being phased in over two years, will benefit the community.

“The move to four Districts creates larger and more flexible working groups and equalised demand,” he said. “New dispatch technology can identify and deploy the closest patrol to respond to an incident, regardless of District boundaries and police station locations, thereby reducing response times and ensuring more consistent service.” Despite a reduction in crime in recent years, demand for police services has continued to rise. In the last four years it has increased by 16 per cent, going from 415 000 calls on the police assistance line (131 444) a year to around 485 000 in the last financial year. “Despite the downturn in crime, patrols were becoming busier. The new model enables patrols to operate as a unified team across District boundaries and avoids the challenges of




Map showing the four Districts.

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demand requirements and varying staffing numbers and resources under the previous metropolitan LSA model,” AC Bamford said. The DPM is underpinned by two significant initiatives – the State Crime Assessment Centre and the Investigation Support Desk – which provide frontline police with roundthe-clock access to enhanced investigation and intelligence support. Technology is also an integral part of the new model, helping to make police more mobile, more visible, and better informed. “We have equipped our frontline staff with a range of technologies including body worn video cameras, mobile rugged tablets, mobile fingerprint scanners, facial recognition technology and smartphones to put officers where they are needed most – out in the community,” AC Bamford said. During his time as Operations Senior Sergeant at Christies Beach Police Station Inspector Gene Vaninetti received widespread positive feedback about the DPM from


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operational members. “They are feeling extremely positive about the freedom associated with policing a larger area and more importantly the increased number of frontline members on the road,” he said. “Before the DPM the station was putting an average of three patrols on the road per shift. Since 5 July it is averaging five patrols per shift and often has 10 members on late days. “The DPM has also enabled sergeants to worry less about resource allocation, with the Communications Centre doing a great job moving patrols around as demand dictates. Sergeants also now have increased capacity to supervise at taskings and are not restrained to the office while front station members have more assistance than pre-DPM.” The DPM has heralded a more specialist and dedicated response to missing persons’ matters, with a Missing Persons Unit established in each District after a successful trial in the former Elizabeth, Sturt and South

Coast LSAs. Northern District’s Missing Persons Unit comprises three members working seven days a week across day and afternoon shifts. “They perform missing persons’ enquiries for the District and monitor taskings for missing persons, both office-based and attending themselves when time permits,” said District Officer in Charge, Superintendent Guy Buckley. “On average they deal with six to eight missing persons reports each day and provide invaluable assistance to patrol sergeants who are now freed up for other tasks. Their role has been positively received so far.” The second phase of the DPM will see the introduction of 48 dedicated District Policing Teams, which will expand on the six Neighbourhood Policing Teams currently operating across the metropolitan area. District Policing Teams comprising up to 10 officers will better allow SAPOL to manage demand for police services by addressing the

causes of demand and crime within their local area. “These agile and flexible teams will each be responsible for a group of suburbs and will adopt a problem-solving approach to local crime issues to stop the cycle of crime and victimisation,” AC Bamford said. “They will target specific problem locations in order to reduce demand for future attendances over the same issue. The teams will actively collaborate with other agencies, non-government organisations and the local community to identify innovative solutions to local issues.” 

Putting crime front and centre O

perational since early May 2018, the State Crime Assessment Centre (SCAC) is integral to the DPM. Predominantly staffed by senior detectives and crime assessors, the 24/7 state-wide service reviews, prioritises and allocates all reported crime received from Police Incident Reports (PIRs), Crime Stoppers and Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) actions. “The SCAC enhances the way we manage crime by ensuring consistent reporting in order to identify crime patterns and trends. It improves SAPOL’s ability to more efficiently inform victims of the outcome of their reported crime,” said Superintendent Ian Parrott,

Officer in Charge of Communications Group. “It also makes available all PIRs, statements and other documentation to police in real-time, and provides a central point of access to intervention orders and warrants.” There have already been numerous occasions where the SCAC has assisted frontline police, including identifying crime series. “The SCAC recently assisted in following up forensic information that quickly identified a suspect for an aggravated robbery at a petrol station. The information was relayed to local police, with the suspect apprehended shortly after, wearing the same clothing and in possession of property from the robbery,”

Superintendent Parrott said. “SCAC members are working hard to build relationships with frontline police, particularly those in new roles such as District Allocation Members, and are reducing the workload of frontline supervisors across the state.” Also based at the Communications Centre is the recently introduced State Response Manager (SRM) role. Chief Inspector Adam Rice is one of six SRMs who manage significant strategic issues by monitoring police incidents and resource commitments across the state. “The SRM has the authority to allocate resources across metropolitan Districts and

country LSAs to ensure they have the support and capability to manage operational incidents, particularly during periods of high demand,” he said. “This is achieved by working closely with the SCAC, Investigation Support Desk and State Shift Manager to proactively monitor the call-taking environment, tasking volume, significant incidents and crime patterns. “Initial feedback has been positive. The SRM is helping to reinforce the concept of a ‘borderless approach’ to dispatching patrols across Districts in the metropolitan area.” 

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Sexual predators are the scourge of society. Their heinous crimes predominantly impact on the most vulnerable group in the community – our children. Taking advantage of the ever-evolving escalation in technology, they continue to find ways to exploit victims in both the virtual and real worlds, destroying their innocence and leaving a longlasting impact. 26

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erpetrators of such insidious acts are targeted by the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) – a collaborative working relationship between SAPOL and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) located within SAPOL’s Special Crimes Investigation Branch (SCIB). It is the most coordinated attack on online predators to ever be launched by SAPOL. Established in February 2015, the JACET comprises a supervisor, investigations senior sergeant, six investigators, two electronic crime specialists, and an intelligence officer from SAPOL, along with four AFP members and a specialist digital forensics officer. It is one of five similar teams operating simultaneously in other states, each with the same remit. “Our team members are

extremely dedicated and tenacious, putting in long hours every day to proactively and painstakingly target and identify predators who are exploiting children,” said JACET supervisor, Detective Sergeant Matt Lyons. “While we get great satisfaction from putting these offenders before the courts, it’s even more gratifying to rescue a child victim from an abusive environment and ensure their safety.” Since its formation the JACET has managed 460 investigations. This has led to 233 warrants being executed and premises searched, and 156 offenders being apprehended and prosecuted for child exploitation offences in South Australia. The JACET has also made 110 referrals to international law enforcement agencies identifying those involved in

child exploitation networks and removed 70 children from harm. “We’ve experienced some great results but it’s also disheartening as the sheer size of this sinister online community means there’s never a shortage of work,” Detective Sergeant Lyons said. The involvement of the AFP enables the JACET to save children from the clutches of paedophiles all over the world. “The team’s reach is limitless, with the AFP liaising with law enforcement agencies across the globe to share information, act on leads and provide assistance. This has generated numerous leads resulting in prosecutions overseas,” said AFP Team Leader, Detective Sergeant Frank Gill. “An investigation into an individual in a local suburb

The Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) ... is the most coordinated attack on online predators to ever be launched by SAPOL.

can evolve very quickly in the dynamic cyber environment, where we may need to send an urgent referral to an overseas jurisdiction to identify children at risk and/ or other offenders. “Combining SAPOL and AFP resources in the one team makes it easier to share and refer critical operational information. This level of cooperation extends across Australia with access to the other joint teams.” The JACET deals with investigations initiated through intelligence referrals from a multitude of sources including the public, the Child Protection Assessment Centre in Canberra, overseas jurisdictions, Interpol and internet service providers. One of the largest sources of referrals is the USA’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The JACET also undertakes

covert online investigations to identify those using and purchasing child exploitation material and catch offenders grooming children. With the JACET’s emphasis being on rescuing children and preventing further abuse, the role of victim identification is expanding. “Our specialists review material found on electronic devices seized from offenders, using complex computer programs to scan tens of thousands of images to detect similarities or revealing markers to help locate a child victim,” Detective Sergeant Lyons said. “Our joint relationship with the AFP means there are no longer any barriers to finding child victims overseas. The AFP’s Canberra-based Victim Identification Team coordinates Australia-wide search efforts and is our

international conduit. “The priority in every single job we do is to identify and rescue children being abused.” Offenders are becoming more sophisticated with their nefarious acts, using encryption and the dark net to mask their activities. This creates a challenge for the JACET’s highly skilled investigators. “They are embracing new technology to obscure their vile behaviour, but whatever they do leaves a digital footprint which our digital forensic specialist can find,” Detective Sergeant Lyons said. “We have a range of investigative tools to detect those using and trading in child exploitation material, whether it be via encrypted means, private messaging or through the dark net.” While advanced technology

provides new means for offending, a prurient interest in children remains the key driver for more people from all walks of life becoming curious about child sexual activity. “Getting involved online makes it easier as there’s a feeling of anonymity. However, we still find perpetrators who engage in child-related work to gain access to children,” Detective Sergeant Gill said. “It’s vital that resources continue to be invested in the JACET so we can continually adapt to this dynamic and growing crime type and prevent the long-lasting impact on both victims and the community.” 





espite the confronting nature of the work, the JACET does not struggle to attract staff. “The job appeals to people who are passionate about child protection,” Detective Sergeant Gill said. “It’s often tough as we view horrific material, however it can be quite rewarding as we are saving children from ongoing harm.” Brevet Sergeant David Townsend joined the JACET in 2017 after gaining extensive experience working in various roles within SCIB. He is passionate about his covert role in online engagement, where he manages several assumed identities across various online platforms with the aim of targeting and identifying offenders exploiting children and capturing evidence. This information is then actioned

by SAPOL or referred to interstate or overseas jurisdictions. “Online engagement is a significant component of what the JACET does. We continuously engage with child sex offenders online and gather crucial information that forms the basis of our proactive investigations,” Brevet Sergeant Townsend said. “When children at risk are identified we take immediate action to ensure their welfare.” As a father, Brevet Sergeant Townsend is often asked how he can perform such a demanding and difficult role. “It comes down to personality and experience. I would rather know what people are doing online and use this education to help protect my own children,”

he said. “I have seen the work affect other people quite differently, but you need to be aware of the challenges and take necessary measures to look after your mental health.” Brevet Sergeant Townsend sees JACET as an integral part of an all-encompassing child protection model. “The JACET captures both suspects and victims who might not otherwise come to police attention and is proactive in identifying offenders and victims prior to a victim reporting an offence,” he said. “Once offenders have been identified and arrested, the Victim Identification Team then does an amazing job to locate victims all over the world. Having JACETs across Australia now allows us to share and access information about offending and victims more efficiently than in the past. “Despite these improvements, we are really only scratching the surface of the online areas where child abuse is occurring. Having the latest hardware, software and support will allow us to access new applications, technologies and platforms and make further inroads into this disturbing crime.” 

LEFT: The ‘child wall’ in the JACET office highlighting the number of victims saved; Senior Constable Robert Neville and Detective Sergeant Matt Lyons examine a case file; Brevet Sergeant Stephen Hegarty with an offender. Photos: JACET.


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Despite the confronting nature of the work, the JACET does not struggle to attract staff.

Operation Propene I

n July 2017 a covert police officer (CPO) from the JACET commenced online engagement with a male offender via an online chat group. The offender, who was listed on the Australian National Child Offender Register (ANCOR), shared child exploitation material with the CPO. The JACET executed a general search warrant on the suspect’s home address and obtained information that identified him as sexually abusing a two-year-old girl. Investigators also identified that the child’s grandmother allowed and facilitated the

child’s abuse. “The male was arrested and we discovered he was in contact with two other Australians who were offending against children they had access to – one in South Australia and one in New South Wales (NSW),” Brevet Sergeant Townsend said. “We obtained evidence of the accused male speaking to a woman in NSW who sent him hundreds of child exploitation images relating to her daughter. “It was a strange online relationship as the woman allowed her daughter to

speak with the accused and call him ‘Daddy’. He even helped the child with homework online. The parties had never physically met but had been communicating for over a year.” The JACET undertook victim identification and then engaged with the NSW JACET who then arrested the woman and ensured the safety of the child victim and her sibling. Continued assessment of the accused male’s online activity by JACET investigators identified a number of further potential

children at risk. Twelve referrals were sent overseas with the assistance of AFP’s worldwide network, resulting in arrests in the United Kingdom, USA and Canada. “The operation saved a six-year-old girl in Winnipeg, Canada. Her 28-year-old stepfather had been sexually assaulting her between January and August 2017 and sharing images of the abuse with the Adelaide-based offender,” Brevet Sergeant Townsend said. “JACET members will appear as witnesses in the Canadian trial due for hearing in January 2019.”





Born in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, Jackline Ohide moved to Australia as an infant and built a prosperous life, working in aged care while being a loving mother devoted to her two young sons. At just 27 years of age her life was tragically cut short when she was murdered by her partner of five years, Toby Awatere, at their Hackham West home in the early hours of 15 March 2015.


he previous evening the outwardly happy couple, with no history of domestic violence, visited family to say goodbye due to their imminent move to Melbourne where Awatere had been commuting for work. They returned home and watched a movie but at 2.30 am the pair woke and began arguing. Weighing more than twice her weight, Awatere strangled his petite partner in a deliberate, sustained


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and violent overpowering act he blamed on her as she desperately struggled for life. He placed her body in the front passenger seat of a friend’s silver Holden Captiva, and put their sleeping sons – aged four and two – in the rear seats, and then fled the scene. The distressed boys woke a few hours later to discover their mother’s lifeless body and repeatedly sounded the car horn until a neighbour noticed and raised

the alarm. Police attended the Hackham West address at 8.30 am, after previously being called to the area around 4.00 am due to reports of a female screaming, but unable to locate the source. “Upon arrival at the scene we found a deceased woman sitting upright in the front passenger seat with her head slumped forward. She had scratches on her neck and a braid of what appeared

to be her hair was located on the ground outside the vehicle,” said Detective Brevet Sergeant Brad Yeomans, then from South Coast Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). “Two young children were found unharmed in the vehicle which was parked in the driveway.” Forensic Response Section members examined the vehicle and seized numerous items of interest. A postmortem was conducted on

MAIN PHOTO: The Holden Captiva in the driveway of the couple’s Hackham West property. Photo: Forensic Response Section. OPPOSITE PAGE (INSET): Jackline Ohide and Toby Awatere in happier times.

the deceased, with the cause of death determined as neck compression likely due to manual strangulation. Toby Awatere was then identified as a significant person of interest.

A CHILLING CONFESSION At around 10.45 pm Detective Brevet Sergeant Yeomans and Detective Brevet Sergeant Graeme Shearer arrested

Awatere as he returned to the crime scene after hiding in a nearby gully for more than 15 hours. He was charged with murder. The matter was declared a major crime, with South Coast CIB responsible for the investigation and Major Crime Investigation Branch in a consultancy role. “In his initial interview Awatere made admissions about having had a verbal argument with Ohide regarding their relocation to

Melbourne where he had been working to ease their financial pressures,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Yeomans said. “During the argument Awatere accused Ohide of having an affair, despite no factual basis. She reacted by stating she and the children would not be moving to Melbourne with him the next day. “Awatere later ‘snapped’ and commenced strangling Ohide with his bare hands in

the hallway prior to falling on the floor, then manoeuvring her to the spare bedroom at the rear of the house where he lay on top of her on the bed with both hands around her neck choking her.” Ohide stood no chance against her significantly larger partner. What had previously been a loving relationship, absent of any violence or aggression, had suddenly become a depressingly familiar story

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of controlling behaviour and domestic violence. “He then placed her limp, lifeless body in the car parked in their driveway, kissed her goodbye and took off,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Yeomans said. During his interview with the detectives, Awatere smiled as he recounted his heinous crime and made a chilling confession. “She came out of the toilet, I was walking down the hallway and that’s when I took her down the back room and choked her,” he said. “I did say I love her, always have and always will, and that’s she’s the one who made me do this.”

SENSELESS ACT OF VIOLENCE Awatere stood trial in the Supreme Court of South Australia during February and March 2017. “Awatere pleaded not guilty to murder, with his defence focusing on his level of accountability due to undiagnosed chronic sleep deprivation and drowsiness at the time of the offence,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Shearer said. “He never denied the offence, just the ability to foresee the consequences of his actions.” It is believed to be one of the first times the fatigue


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defence was used in a murder trial worldwide, in a move condemned by Ohide’s family. “The trial heard complex medical evidence from several sleep experts and psychologists who stated Awatere’s mental functions would have been “impaired” by his exhaustion, caused by less than three hours’ sleep a night,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Shearer said. “Prosecutors dismissed this because no reasonable person would resort to extreme violence in similar situations.” The court also heard that the couple struggled financially and Awatere claimed to suffer from a combination of depression, insomnia, stress, jealousy and “trust” issues, as well as loneliness interstate and the side effects of sleeping tablets. During the trial prosecutor Carmen Matteo read to the jury excerpts of a letter Awatere wrote to his family while in jail after his arrest. “I lost it. The f---ed thing was … when I was choking Mimi I was saying to her ‘I love you’ but her kicking and struggling to breathe made me squeeze her throat even more with me saying ‘I love you so’,” the letter said. After 11 hours of deliberation, the jury found Awatere guilty of murdering Ohide. They rejected Awatere’s claims the crime was triggered by “sleep deprivation” and that she “provoked” him after telling him the family would not move to Melbourne. Justice David Lovell imposed the mandatory life sentence for

murder with a 20-year nonparole period. Awatere fought tears in the dock as the verdict was read out, while several members of Ohide’s family wept in the public gallery, with many of them having sat through graphic evidence during the three-week trial. “It was a successful outcome from an investigation perspective, but there were no winners in this case, with two boys left with distressing memories from a senseless act of violence,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Shearer said. 

ABOVE: The children’s car seats in the Holden Captiva; a braid of Jackline Ohide’s hair found near the car; and damage to both the car and house. Photos: Forensic Response Section. LEFT: Convicted murderer Toby Awatere.




The new Holden ZB Commodores and Kia Sorento. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

SAPOL has set the wheels in motion for a new generation of police fleet vehicles with the unveiling of the Holden ZB Commodore.


he German-made Commodore joins the Kia Sorento on trial, with around 40 Sorento SUVs having been trialled by SAPOL since midJanuary this year. Assistant Commissioner (AC), Governance and Capability Service, Peter Harvey said the trial of both vehicle models will ensure SAPOL provides the best possible fit-for-purpose vehicles as its overall fleet expands. “Both models will be trialled across the state with the intention to be used in all areas of policing, including road policing, prisoner transport and general duties,” he said. The ZB Commodore features new police markings prominently displayed on all of the trial vehicles. “This represents a modernisation of SAPOL’s brand on

our fleets,” AC Harvey said. “The chequers now more closely mirror the darker blue uniform and the new police markings have a greater visibility to motorists, especially at night, due to the reflective stripes. The high visibility markings also enhance safety at crash scenes.” The six-cylinder ZB Commodores have been secured in a range of colours including silver, white and black. The Kia Sorento vehicles are currently in white, dark grey and silver blue. Silver coloured Commodores are

being trialled for general traffic duties, with the white Commodores being used for general duties. The black Commodores are on trial across the state as special traffic fleets (as the blue used in the previous high-vis cars is not available in the ZB range). Safety is a key issue in selecting and trialling the ZB Commodore, with the new model possessing more active safety features than the previous VF Commodore. “Features include all wheel drive, lane departure warning and frontal collision warning,” AC Harvey said.

“We have also made some modifications to upgrade to a larger battery and alternator to facilitate our electronics and technology in the vehicles.” Both the Commodore and Sorento have achieved a minimum 5 star ANCAP safety rating which meets approved national vehicle specifications for a general duties police vehicle. “The Sorento recently received the highest ever safety rating in crash testing for an SUV in Australia,” AC Harvey said. “SAPOL has put the Sorento through a rigid and robust testing regime far in excess of what was likely to occur in an actual operational situation.” Around 160 ZB Commodores will be involved in the trial. The initial roll-out of 40 vehicles has performed well so far. “We’re confident both the ZB Commodore and Sorento will meet SAPOL’s stringent technical and operational requirements and be of great appeal to our frontline officers,” AC Harvey said. 

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FOCUSING ON THE BIG PICTURE Sam Gollan painting her artwork. OPPOSITE PAGE (BOTTOM RIGHT): Officers involved in this year’s Aboriginal Power Cup. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.


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A significant new artwork creatively capturing the relationship between SAPOL, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (ALRM) and the Aboriginal community has been unveiled.


ointly commissioned by SAPOL and ALRM, the thought-provoking artwork created by Aboriginal artist Sam Gollan is now on permanent display in the City Watch House. According to ALRM Chief Executive Cheryl Axelby the commission reflects a mutual commitment by SAPOL and ALRM to creating safe, inclusive environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people within police facilities. “This is an important initiative in ensuring that ATSI people are treated with dignity and respect during their dealings with SAPOL,” Ms Axelby said. “That begins with emphasising and implementing a culturallyinclusive environment. “It is our shared vision that this partnership will reduce feelings of anxiety among ATSI people in custodial environments, as well as

promoting and fostering respect for culture and cultural protocols.” Themes of cultural inclusivity and harm reduction resonate with artist Sam Gollan, who has dedicated her professional life to supporting and assisting at-risk youth in the ATSI community. Her uplifting new piece represents the journey of entering the justice system to emerge at a crossroads, between repeating poor decisions or making more positive choices. “The painting depicts meetings between Aboriginal people, ALRM and SAPOL,” she said. “Interactions with SAPOL are coloured blue, and ALRM red. The artwork is full of symbols of empowerment, such as self, family and friends. “The footprints represent the journey through the custody process. The ground is breaking up as a new and brighter future appears between SAPOL, ALRM and the Aboriginal community. “You see it culminate as a partnership of one – where at the end, the individual must make a choice – to better their life, or to re-enter from the beginning.” To coincide with the official unveiling of the artwork, Aboriginal Ngangkaris attended the City Watch House to conduct a spiritual cleansing of the cell complex – the first time the ancient traditional practice, intended to identify and expel unwanted spiritual interferences, has occurred in a South Australian holding facility. A Welcome to Country was then performed by Kaurna representative, Probationary Constable Clohe Lamont. The new artwork strengthens the relationship between SAPOL and ALRM, which both share a longterm view of reducing harm in custody and decreasing the incarceration rate of ATSI people. “This artwork represents an important step towards

Cheryl Axelby, Aunty Joan Lamont, the Hon. Corey Wingard MP, Sam Gollan and Commissioner Grant Stevens at the artwork’s launch.

a meaningful, truly collaborative partnership,” said Chief Superintendent Dean Miller from State Operations Service. “The prominent installation signifies our genuine commitment to reducing the risk of physical and psychological harm to ATSI people in custody.” Aboriginal artworks are now being considered for other facilities across SAPOL, with this project just one of several initiatives SAPOL is undertaking to emphasise its strong ties with the ATSI community. In June this year a group of 52 Community Constables and Probationary Constables participated as volunteers in the Aboriginal Power Cup – Port Adelaide Football Club’s flagship Aboriginal football and education community program. SAPOL’s contingent performed duties including

field and goal umpiring at the two-day event which attracted around 450 students from 70 schools. “This year was the first time non-ATSI employees were involved as volunteers in the event to broaden cross-cultural ties,” Chief Superintendent Miller said. “In addition to this group, representatives from the Special Event Project Team, Traffic, State Community Engagement Section, Western Adelaide Crime Prevention Section and the ATSI Portfolio engaged with students across the two days. “It was a mutually beneficial partnership, which we will continue in order to strengthen cultural understanding into the future.” 

BL UEPR IN T IS S U E 2 ~ 2 0 1 8



When Jet was nominated, he knew immediately that he wanted to spend the day with his heroes, the police.

MAIN PHOTO: Jet enjoys the ride of his life on a police motorcycle. BELOW (LEFT TO RIGHT): SC1C Nigel Hearnden welcomes Jet to Dog Operations Unit; Jet with Brevet Sergeants Tristan Shaw and Mark Jacobs from Water Operations Unit; Jet with his proud parents; and with members of Dog Operations Unit. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.


BL UE P R IN T IS S U E 2 ~ 2018


TAKES FLIGHT Playing cops and robbers has always been a popular children’s activity, but 14-year-old Jet recently took it to a new level when he donned the SAPOL uniform and spent a day living his dream job as a police officer.


et’s amazing experience was due to the Starlight wish granting program, an initiative run by the Starlight Children’s Foundation that grants a ‘wish’ for a seriously ill child or young person, giving them and their families something positive to look forward to. Jet was

born with Sturge-Weber Syndrome which is a non-fatal neurological disorder that can be managed successfully with appropriate medical care. When Jet was nominated, he knew immediately that he wanted to spend the day with his heroes, the police. From a very young age Jet has loved everything about the police, particularly catching criminals. Jet’s big day included riding in a police car, hanging out with the Commissioner, testing his shooting skills at the Police Academy’s firearms simulator, and experiencing the excitement of Water Operations. He visited Dog Operations and Mounted Operations at Thebarton Barracks, where he also took the opportunity to inspect historical police vehicles. Jet then found the time to take an important phone call from the Minister for Police, the Hon Corey Wingard MP. Jet thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his fun-filled day with police. “It was awesome. I loved wearing my police uniform and meeting all the police officers,” he said. “My favourite part of the day was pulling my Dad over in the police car. I also liked firing the guns at the Police Academy and training the police dogs.” Jet’s parents, Rachel and

Ray, were thrilled to see him achieve his lifelong dream. “Jet loved being in uniform and feeling special for the day. He enjoyed meeting so many police officers and finding out what they do each day,” Rachel said. “Everyone at SAPOL was so lovely and engaging with Jet. He did not wipe the smile off his face for days after the visit. He has also enjoyed retelling the day to all his family and friends.” The action-packed day with SAPOL provided Jet with a positive distraction from life’s challenges. “Jet was treated with dignity and respect by everyone. It was a day where he did not feel different or disabled and he was able to participate in activities related to his area of interest,” Rachel said. “Jet has an amazing way with animals so to incorporate

the police dogs and horses meant he was in his element. He not only loved the day, but the ability to relive the day afterwards through the stories, photos and videos that were captured. “Thank you to everyone involved in making the day so special for Jet.” Check out a video highlighting what Jet got up to on his dream day with SAPOL at watch?v=bLWWKVWNr_w  ABOVE: Jet receives a Certificate of Appreciation from Commissioner Grant Stevens and Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams. BELOW: Jet shares his love of animals with Senior Constable Derek Croser from Mounted Operations Unit and SC1C Jeffrey Wight from Dog Operations Unit. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

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Moments in Time

A TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS Renowned for their ability to ‘read the land’, Aboriginal trackers were first called in to assist South Australian police in rural and remote areas during the early 1800s. By the mid-1930s trackers were attached to most country police stations.

ABOVE: Alfred Ryan, and right, a tracker with mounted constables in the early 1900s.


BELOW: Jimmy James in 1982, and right, with Wendy Pfeiffer in 1987.

he arrival of police dogs in the 1970s ended the official role of many Aboriginal trackers, although police still call upon trackers for assistance in major cases in contemporary times. Trackers are famed for using their bush skills to spot subtle markings which reveal the path a person has taken in often harsh and remote areas. They’re able to explore things that are out of place but go unnoticed to the untrained eye. Countless trackers played a crucial role in the success and efficiency of police investigations, earning the respect of country police officers and their local communities. Legendary trackers like Alfred Ryan, Peter Aringa, Scoundrel Bob, Tiger, Andy, Pony Mick, Lanky Kana, Jimmy James, Fred Cooper, Mick McLean, Fred Johnson, Tommy Ridge, and Alec Riley were revered for their expertise. The most famous tracker was Jimmy James. For around 40 years he worked closely with SAPOL using tracking skills and instincts honed by generations of Pitjantjatjara men to locate scores of murderers, prison escapees and missing people. Of the 104 times police enlisted

his services, two cases stand out. In 1966 he and fellow Aboriginal tracker Daniel Moodoo found nine-year-old Wendy Pfeiffer who had been abducted, stabbed and left for dead on the banks of the Onkaparinga River. She was found alive after three hours of tracking following a fruitless three-day search by police. In 1982, Mr James found escapee child killer James George Smith in the Riverland after spending six days tracking him for more than 100 kilometres in rugged terrain. The history and achievements of Aboriginal trackers will be the focus of next year’s Police Foundation Day celebrations. ABOVE: Jimmy James with escapee James Smith in 1982. LEFT: An investigation at the Birdsville Track in 1963, and below, Alfred Ryan and Russell Fordrey White. All photos: South Australian Police Historical Society.

Blueprint magazine Issue 2 2018  

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 2 2018  

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