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2017, ISSUE 2



Negotiator Coordination Section

Staff profile:


Brevet Sergeant Ian Alderson > Crime trend:


> Community engagement:

Ride Like Crazy

> Our people:

Dog Operations Unit

> New initiatives:


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 2

From the Editor


Team profile:

© South Australia Police


olicing is a challenging and at times confronting role. For most police the inherent dangers are just a part of the job, but for their families it can often be worrying. No-one wants to think about losing a loved one – the grief and financial impact can be overwhelming. Thankfully, SA Police Legacy is there in times of need, providing care and timely support to SAPOL families when they require it the most – families such as the Koerners, who received invaluable financial assistance when Senior Sergeant Mick Koerner passed away in 2009. His daughter Laura is now proudly serving SAPOL as a probationary constable. Another officer to benefit from SA Police Legacy is Brevet Sergeant Ian Alderson, who received generous funding for a prosthetic leg tailored to the rigours of operational policing. He has overcome adversity to become the first amputee to be declared a fully operational police officer in SAPOL. Brevet Sergeant




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

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Alderson’s positive attitude and tenacity, combined with strong support from colleagues and SAPOL, played a significant role in his achievement. SAPOL’s support has also extended to Tasmania Police (TASPOL), with our highly regarded Dog Operations Unit taking the lead in training their Passive Alert Detection Dog teams. Their dogged determination has paid off, with TASPOL’s Dog Handlers Squad enjoying significant success in curtailing the illicit drug trade. This issue of Blueprint also highlights SAPOL’s community focus. In July, many years of diligent work by Firearms Branch came to fruition with the introduction of new firearms laws targeting a safer community. A state firearms amnesty has added scope to the safety aspect, triggering a positive response with more than 8000 guns surrendered. SAPOL has also been a driving force in the Barossa Valley community, playing a crucial role in Nuriootpa High School’s automotive pathways program. Sergeant Mick McNally has developed a close rapport with at-risk youth, leading to positive educational and employment outcomes and reduced crime offending.

Designed & Printed by: Graphic Print Group

Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section; Serious

and Organised Crime Branch; Brevet Sergeant Ian Alderson; Probationary Constable Laura Koerner; South Australian Police Historical Society; Tasmania Police; The Barossa Leader; Nuriootpa High School; Self Insurers of South Australia; Shutterstock.

COVER Senior Constable First Class Daniel Lacey and Police Dog Nero. Photo: Ian Myers, SAPOL Photographic Section.

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 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.


SAPOL has led the way in dealing with the increasing prevalence of drug drivers on our roads and responding to the dramatic community impact from crimes associated with ice such as domestic violence. Commissioner's foreword This year has seen a significant effort at all levels across SAPOL in reinforcing our core values of service, integrity, courage, leadership, collaboration and respect. The strength and relevance of these important values is reflected in a number of stories featured in this issue of Blueprint.


xemplifying our value of courage is Brevet Sergeant Ian Alderson. Ian sustained a compound fracture to his left leg during a sporting event, and endured

several unsuccessful surgeries to repair the damage. Ian demonstrated great courage and determination in his difficult decision to have his leg amputated to increase his chances of returning to operational policing. Ian’s story is not just about him; it highlights the valuable support and assistance he received from his family and work colleagues – assistance that helped him focus on achieving his goal of returning to full operational duties this year. Collaboration and leadership come to the fore when outlining SAPOL’s integral role in the State Government’s ‘Stop the Hurt’ ice strategy and our significant involvement in Operation Vitreus and various national and state operations to reduce the supply of ice. SAPOL has led the way in dealing with the increasing prevalence of drug drivers on our roads and responding to the dramatic

community impact from crimes associated with ice such as domestic violence. SAPOL has also been at the forefront of community education, playing a pivotal role in ice forums across regional communities. Also reflecting the values of collaboration and leadership is Operation Subtract. This has seen general duties members, Volume Crime Teams, CIB, support areas and intel, just to name a few, working together to achieve a dramatic reduction in the incidence of serious criminal trespass offences across the state – an outstanding result. Recently, SAPOL has amplified this crime prevention focus with the reinvigoration of Neighbourhood Watch through a new website and Facebook presence. The team profile on Negotiator Coordination Section emphasises the importance of integrity

in policing, particularly in challenging, high-risk situations. We also take an in-depth look at the rapidly evolving area of technology and how our Information Systems and Technology Service embodies the value of service in delivering mobility-related initiatives to the frontline. For the past decade, our values of service, leadership and respect have been demonstrated via the annual Ride Like Crazy. The muchloved cycling event has raised more than $1.5 million for cancer research, prevention and treatment and assisted in promoting road safety amongst vulnerable road users. The 10th and final ride will be held on 14 January 2018, so I encourage you all to don the lycra and join me to ride like crazy one last time.


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Every situation is different – you could be negotiating with someone via text messages, over the telephone or faceto-face.

AS GOOD AS THEIR WORD A woman stands on the railings of a bridge on the South Eastern Freeway at Hahndorf and threatens to jump. She loosens her grasp of the railings a couple of times as if she’s about to leap.


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onfused and scared, she’s eventually convinced to come down from the bridge, and is then detained under the Mental Health Act. The difference between life and death in this critical incident is Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Cath Thomas – an experienced negotiator whose words alone can defuse a situation. SC1C Thomas is one of 44 trained negotiators who help SAPOL’s Negotiator Coordination Section attend more than 150 jobs per year across the state. She has performed this crucial task for the past 14 years,

combining it with her daily policing role as a general duties member at Mount Barker. SC1C Thomas believes successful outcomes are the result of effective teamwork. “We work closely as a team to establish our goals and then devise tactics. Every situation is different – you could be negotiating with someone via text messages, over the telephone or face-toface,” she said. “Negotiating is not just about communicating and talking for the sake of it. It involves listening, being open and honest with them and

not making promises you can’t keep. It’s important to remain calm and minimise the situation. “It can be quite challenging, intense and mentally draining when speaking with someone for hours but it’s highly rewarding when we achieve a positive outcome.” Negotiators respond to a broad range of incidents, particularly those involving hostages, barricades, kidnapping or a siege. Their expertise is also often called upon for suicide intervention, protests, demonstrations and any incident where a skilled communicator may be

Negotiators and STAR Operations members at a high-risk incident. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

able to provide a successful resolution. “Many negotiator jobs are high-risk incidents involving Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Operations Section,” said Senior Sergeant First Class (SS1C) Lyndy Baker, the Negotiator Coordination Section Coordinator. “We have also assisted in resolving kidnappings and extortions. Our success rate is very high – any job that is resolved without loss of life is successful.” Negotiatior Coordination Section is part of STAR Group. Apart from the coordinator and trainer, all negotiators

are part-time, carrying out normal duties in a range of policing areas and responding as a negotiator as an additional duty. “Negotiator teams are rostered on-call, with a minimum of two negotiators responding to any request for assistance. We currently have 20 negotiators available across the metropolitan area and 14 serving in country areas,” SS1C Baker said. “For major or protracted incidents such as those involving a hostage or a siege a team of four will be activated. For terrorism incidents it is likely that

a minimum team of 10 negotiators will be called into action. “Teamwork is vital as it’s definitely not a job for individuals.” Having been a negotiator for 24 years, with the last 14 years on a full-time basis, SS1C Baker knows what it takes to be an effective negotiator. “Negotiators need to be clear communicators and active listeners, and be unbiased, calm and patient without getting emotional. It’s important to show empathy and not be confrontational,” she said.

“Negotiations can be a lengthy and complex process therefore patience, resilience, broad thinking and the support of the negotiation team is extremely important. Negotiators avoid using police jargon and adopt a more conversational approach with the person, instead of interviewing them. “By listening and showing empathy negotiators can hopefully influence the subject’s behaviour and resolve a situation peacefully. However, achieving this outcome can be difficult at times due to issues such as drug use and mental illness affecting people.”

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> TEAM PROFIL E: N EG O TI ATO R COO RDINATION S ECTI O N Negotiators plan their approach to dealing with a subject. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Counter-terrorism preparation and response is a significant component of training. THE RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION Negotiators are subjected to a stringent application process followed by a two-week Basic Negotiator Course which focuses on theory and practical exercises. Upon completion of the course, trainee negotiators go straight onto the on-call roster where they respond to tasks accompanied by a qualified and experienced negotiator. They also embark on a twoyear development period. “This period incorporates three one-week training courses, with the third week being an assessment. All negotiators must also undertake a requalification training course every two years to maintain their


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skills,” SS1C Baker said. “The rigorous and constant training regime includes stand-alone courses focusing on counter-terrorism and developing team leaders. There is also the nationallyrun annual Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee Negotiator Skills Enhancement Course which brings together negotiators from each Australian policing jurisdiction." Counter-terrorism preparation and response is a significant component of training. “We send two negotiators to the national course each year. This year we introduced our own counter-terrorism course to prepare all SAPOL negotiators for a terrorism response by giving them an understanding of the

environment, structures, information and agencies involved,” SS1C Baker said. “We also conduct regular training exercises with STAR Operations and Bomb Response Unit.” Sergeant Curtis Scaife has developed a strong appreciation for the importance of training during his six years as a negotiator. “Relevant and up-to-date training is vital, especially in the current political climate where there’s a possibility we will have to assist with an event involving an explosive device or active shooter," he said. “With the current national focus on terrorism, it has become apparent that the standard approach to resolving incidents needs to evolve. In some cases

the role of negotiator may need to extend to delaying or disrupting a person who is committing an act of terrorism, as opposed to achieving a peaceful resolution through negotiation.” Negotiators rely heavily on their training and knowledge to decide upon the correct tactics to adopt to achieve the desired outcome in a variety of situations. “No two jobs are the same. I have worked on tasks ranging from highrisk incidents to suicide interventions and even an international abduction. This required a team of negotiators to work closely with our local CIB, Department of Foreign Affairs and international police agencies to locate

The power of negotiation S

the captors and recover the subject,” Sergeant Scaife said. “Developing a rapport and active listening are crucial in each negotiation. You need to allow people to vent, yell and swear so they can get it all out. This assists in removing the emotion from the incident and enables them to converse with the negotiator in a calmer state. “Truthfulness of dialogue is also important. Many jobs involve people who have been in contact with us on more than one occasion so it’s vital that incidents are not resolved by negotiators lying or being deceitful. This can erode any trust that has been fostered by police during past incidents.” 

ergeant Amri Kenyon is one of 13 negotiators trained as team leaders. She was inspired to become a negotiator when, as a junior patrol officer, she witnessed a police negotiator in action. “A male was in a house threatening to harm himself and refusing to come out. Nothing that myself or my colleagues were saying or doing had any effect on him and it appeared we were in for a long, frustrating night,” she said. “A negotiator arrived, talked to the male for about five minutes and he then came out calmly. It seemed like a super power to me and at that moment I decided I wanted to be able to do that too.” After 16 years as a negotiator Sergeant Kenyon still finds the role both challenging and rewarding. “I particularly enjoy being a team leader where I can develop tactics and strategies and use lateral thinking and problem solving to lead the negotiation team to peacefully resolve high-risk incidents,” she said. “Each negotiation presents different challenges. One of the most difficult jobs is when you receive no response – when the subject may or may not be in the house. It can be hard to find new avenues to communicate and the cordon members get sick of hearing your voice. “One of the toughest jobs I have been involved in was an agoraphobic male who was wanted for offences and was refusing to leave his house. The negotiation went for 16 hours with little prospect of success and ultimately STAR members had to enter the house to arrest him.” The support of STAR Operations is integral to high-risk incidents as negotiators do not carry tactical options.

Negotiators discussing tactics with a STAR Operations member. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

“I have every confidence that they will keep negotiators safe. Not having to worry about your personal safety means that you can focus on the task at hand,” said Detective Brevet Sergeant Erin Dring. “Negotiators are very good at working together and there is always support and a team leader overseeing how they are faring.” A negotiator for the past six years, Detective Brevet Sergeant Dring was the team leader for a siege at Yatala Labour Prison in August where several prisoners caused significant property damage to a prison area. There were also conflicting reports of them having taken a fellow prisoner hostage. “It was an interesting job in that prison management maintained control of the incident, with negotiators and STAR Operations assisting,” she said. “It was quite challenging ensuring that all parties involved were aware of the situation as it was unfolding. Communication between the negotiators, Tactical Commander and Police Forward Commander is crucial and is something that is done well within SAPOL as each section knows its role and responsibility. “Adding another agency with a different command structure posed unique challenges. Thankfully

the negotiators were able to calm the situation and facilitate the safe removal of all the prisoners from the area without any further problems.” As with all negotiators, Detective Brevet Sergeant Dring relies on the ongoing support of management in her primary policing position to successfully perform the on-call role. “For the majority of my time as a negotiator I’ve worked in Holden Hill CIB where I’ve had very supportive supervisors and managers who understand the commitment required to be an effective negotiator,” she said. This has helped her pursue the negotiator role she thoroughly enjoys. “I find it really rewarding assisting someone in crisis, particularly with suicide intervention, and helping them see some hope despite their situation,” she said. “Each task is demanding in terms of speaking with somebody while trying to understand what’s happened and why they’re in their current predicament. “It’s only when someone believes you genuinely care that you can even hope to convince them to change their course of action.” 

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Brevet Sergeant Ian Alderson. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

It was not until my orthopaedic surgeon advised me that if he was in my position he would amputate the leg and replace it with a prosthetic limb, that I realised how poor my prognosis was.



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In October 2013, Brevet Sergeant Ian Alderson joined his colleagues from the Christies Beach patrol team to take on the demanding ‘True Grit’ obstacle course. What was meant to be a challenging and fun day out ended up providing the ultimate obstacle.


uring the event Brevet Sergeant Alderson landed awkwardly and sustained a compound fracture to his left tibia, fibula and ankle. This was the start of a gruelling two-year period of multiple surgeries and procedures as doctors tried valiantly to fix several complications and save his leg. Sadly after one setback too many in October 2015 his left leg was

amputated below the knee. This was an emotional roller coaster for Brevet Sergeant Alderson, who was initially expecting to have a leg reconstruction before being faced with the harrowing decision to have an elective amputation. “I did not fully comprehend how severe my injuries were. I eventually reached a point where the reconstruction was going to allow me to walk but I would have to use a walking stick and suffer chronic pain for the rest of my life. It would have ended my police career as I knew it,” he said. “Although it was very confronting, it was not until my orthopaedic surgeon advised me that if he was in my position he would amputate the leg and replace it with a prosthetic limb, that I realised how poor my prognosis was. “At that point I began to reevaluate my circumstances. I approached it as most police officers would. I asked myself questions about what I’m trying to achieve and which options would give me the best chance of realising

my goals. The answer was amputation as the advancement in prosthetics enables amputees to function at very high levels.” Over the last two years Brevet Sergeant Alderson has undertaken a rigorous exercise regime, physiotherapy, prosthesis capability and competency to enable him to walk, run and train without other aids. He wears a prosthesis tailored to policing – the top of the range Pro-Flex XC which is suited to active users. The intensive rehabilitation paid off in August 2017 when he became the first amputee to be declared a fully operational police officer in SAPOL. “I am extremely proud of my achievement. It’s been a challenging time, from experiencing a grieving process over the amputation to the demands of physiotherapy and just taking life one day at a time while keeping things in perspective,” he said. “I enjoyed physiotherapy as I felt like I was reclaiming my independence. It is frustrating

when you can’t function properly so the prospect of normality, despite how hard physiotherapy is, was enough to push me through the pain and discomfort. “Physiotherapy and learning to walk with a prosthetic limb is very difficult. I knew what I wanted to achieve so my recovery was tailored towards operational clearance. It was tough but definitely worth the effort.”

Brevet Sergeant Alderson in hospital after his amputation. ABOVE RIGHT: X-ray showing the internal reconstruction work in October 2013.

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Brevet Sergeant Alderson during his functional capacity assessment at the Police Academy. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section. RIGHT: Addressing the audience at the SISA Awards. OPPOSITE PAGE (BOTTOM):

Celebrating his SISA award win with wife Julie. Photos courtesy SISA.


He could not have achieved a successful return to work without the support from SAPOL and his supervisors and colleagues. 8

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Brevet Sergeant Alderson is currently a Field Intelligence Officer in South Coast Local Service Area (LSA). Prior to his injury he worked on general patrols at Christies Beach, and was working towards a patrol sergeant position. He is now enjoying a combination of full-time work and studying an online Masters degree in ‘Cyber Security, Policing Intelligence and Counter Terrorism’. Brevet Sergeant Alderson’s triumphant return to work was recently recognised in the Self Insurers of South Australia (SISA) Awards where he won the ‘Outstanding Personal Achievement in Return to Work’ category. This was a fitting reward for his exceptional work performance and the positive attitude, drive and determination that have been the hallmarks of his recovery. The affable officer believes he could not have achieved a successful return to work without the support from SAPOL and his supervisors and colleagues. “The support has been overwhelming. South Coast LSA is a very close-knit environment where most people know each other and consequently look out for one another. I don’t think a day passed without someone asking me how I was getting on,” Brevet Sergeant Alderson said.

“LSA management found me appropriate duties in the Intelligence Section postinjury and I was allowed to stay there during my recovery until I gained a substantive position within the section. This stability greatly assisted my recovery.” Intelligence Section management has created a supportive work environment and ensured that Brevet Sergeant Alderson’s welfare is addressed. “Throughout my recovery my colleagues kept an eye on me and kept me laughing and smiling, even when I was having a bad day,” he said. “Having an enjoyable workplace encouraged me to keep going back. “I’m also indebted to Natalie Bottroff and Associates who provided valuable assistance with my physical recovery and management of a return to work plan. I can’t speak highly enough of their work.”

STEPPING UP TO MEET THE CHALLENGE As manager of South Coast LSA Intelligence Section, Senior Sergeant Steve Whetton has supported Brevet Sergeant Alderson since he first returned to work in January 2014 after suffering his initial leg injury. “Ian has been a complete

inspiration. His dedication and reliability are without question,” he said. “There were numerous occasions where he would refuse to go home when feeling some discomfort and simply request more work as he wanted to keep busy. Throughout his recovery he demonstrated a commitment to the section’s service delivery and completed all duties expediently and to a high standard. “The benefit of having a member with recent operational experience in an intelligence environment

greatly assisted the section in recognising operational intelligence needs.” Senior Sergeant Whetton’s role focused on human resource management and welfare. “I ensured Ian continued to receive training to assist with his future career aspirations and arranged for flexibility in rostering to aid his recovery,” he said. “I also secured a ‘sit stand’ desk to aid Ian’s rehabilitation and supported him through the medical clearance process as he progressed from non-operational clearance in 2015 to restricted operational duties in March this year and then full operational clearance five months later.” Brevet Sergeant Alderson’s difficult four-year journey has had implications both financially and on family life. The married father of two teenage boys has refused to complain about his situation and has simply focused on moving forward at each difficult step. “Fortunately, my kids are older so when the injury happened in 2013 they were able to help out around the house,” he said.

“My wife has been awesome but it has been hard for her; perhaps even harder than it has been for me. I was unconscious during the surgeries, one of which lasted 12 hours, but my family obviously had to live through it. “They have definitely given me something to work towards and now that I am able, I am steadily repaying them. However, I’ve been told that it will be a long time before we are even.” Faced with adversity, the resilient officer has chosen to confront his circumstances and get on with life instead of allowing such a life-changing event to overwhelm him. “People are a product of their experiences. I was 38 years old when I sustained my injury and had already been through many of life’s challenges therefore I knew I was resilient and determined. However, this injury did force me to dig a lot deeper,” he said. “I just focused on returning to work and being an operational officer, so I did everything I could to achieve that goal.” 

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In the first nine months of the operation there was a 12 per cent reduction in serious criminal trespass offences. 10

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A major police operation to curb break-ins across South Australia has turned down the volume of crime. Introduced in January 2017, Operation Subtract was prompted by a significant increase in the reporting of serious criminal trespass offences in 2015-16 compared with the previous financial year.


peration Subtract has seen police take a multi-faceted approach to target offenders, educate the community and coordinate intelligence across the state. In the first nine months of the operation there was a 12 per cent reduction in serious criminal trespass offences compared to the same period in 2016. “That’s 1279 fewer victims of break-ins this year across the state,” said Assistant Commissioner (AC), Metropolitan Operations Service, Paul Dickson. “This means 1279 fewer crime scenes for police to attend and 1279 fewer times people have experienced the terrible feeling of having their home or business broken into.” Operation Subtract’s success is due to a focus on specific policing strategies. “Intelligence teams in each Local Service Area (LSA) identify people of interest and then proactively target those individuals to ensure the stolen property network is disrupted,” AC Dickson said. “There has been an emphasis on parolees and recidivist offenders, which has been influential in reducing incidents of crime. “We target a range of offences to prevent breakins, including breach of bail such as offenders exceeding a curfew, where we arrest someone who may be about to offend. We have also had prolific serious criminal trespass offenders who are driving disqualified, so we arrest them, seize their car and make it difficult for them to commit a crime. It’s all about disruption.” The establishment of Volume Crime Teams in each of the six metropolitan LSAs has been crucial to the reduction in crime, with the teams creating a greater sense of accountability for investigations into volume crime.

“There are now three Volume Crime Teams in each metropolitan LSA, which have replaced the previous Mantle and CIB Tac teams,” AC Dickson said. “Each team comprises a sergeant and eight or nine uniformed CIB members, and is responsible for all investigations into volume crime incidents within their LSA. They have facilitated a change of culture within the LSAs and been a significant factor in the success of Operation Subtract.” Police have been monitoring online sales and ensuring second-hand dealers are complying with their legal obligations. In the first nine months of Operation Subtract there were 119 apprehensions for providing false information to second-hand dealers, a rise of 21 for the same period in 2016. “There has been greater scrutiny of second-hand dealers and online selling forums, which are popular avenues for disposing of stolen property. This has resulted in an increased detection of offenders,” said AC State Operations Service, Bronwyn Killmier. “It is important for the community to remember

there is a risk in buying stolen property – we can seize it from them and they will potentially have difficulty making any claim against the offender.” Raising community awareness about crime prevention has been a key component of Operation Subtract. “Many crimes are opportunistic, with thieves only needing a few minutes to steal property, therefore residents and businesses need to be safety conscious with their valuables,” AC Killmier said. “The security advice provided to the community throughout this operation has seen many premises ‘target hardened’ by owners.”

Operation Subtract ends on 31 December 2017, however the successful strategies implemented during the operation will remain in place. “The downward trend in break-ins and serious criminal trespass offences is expected to continue due to the intelligence and analysis based approach, focus on training, and establishment of Volume Crime Teams,” AC Killmier said. “Generally a small number of offenders are responsible for a large number of offences, so our resources will continue to be deployed in a coordinated manner to ensure they’re put out of business.” 

Senior Constable Mark Ridgwell and Brevet Sergeant Nicholas Millard from Eastern Adelaide LSA Volume Crime Team. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.




Serious criminal trespass offenders have been arrested at every opportunity and put before the courts or had strict bail conditions enforced. 12

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Operation is a breath of fresh Eyre O

peration Subtract has been particularly successful in Eyre Western LSA with a 15 per cent reduction in non-residential serious criminal trespass offences and a 14 per cent reduction in residential offences. The LSA also experienced a 44 per cent decrease in apprehensions in the first six months of the operation, compared to the same period in 2016. Superintendent Andrew Thiele, Officer in Charge of Eyre Western LSA, credits these significant reductions to a multi-pronged approach. “There has been an improvement in the standard of investigations. Serious criminal trespass offenders have been arrested at every opportunity and put before the courts or had strict bail conditions enforced,” he said. “We have implemented a multi-agency approach in tackling recidivist offenders by maintaining a close working relationship with Housing SA and the Department of Correctional Services. “We have also promoted beneficial relationships between community constables and the Aboriginal community, and had State Community Engagement Section conduct camps at Errappa for juvenile recidivist offenders.” There has been a strong focus on people of interest within the LSA. “They have been targeted on a shift-by-shift basis. Many serious criminal trespasses are committed by recidivist

offenders and by focusing our efforts on these people police have been able to disrupt their activities, resulting in a significant reduction in victim reported crime,” Superintendent Thiele said. “The policing of secondhand dealers has also played a major role in reducing opportunities for people to dispose of the proceeds of crime.” The LSA has used social media, television and print media to inform the community about Operation Subtract and promote important crime prevention messages. “Community support has been essential in ensuring the operation’s success. It has resulted in arrests and encouraged residents to undertake activities to reduce the risk of their property being targeted,” Superintendent Thiele said. Police ask that residents remain vigilant regarding any suspicious vehicles, people or activity in their neighbourhood and immediately contact police on 131 444 if they notice anything. Anyone with information about recent serious criminal trespass offences is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at Information about crime prevention and security is available on the SAPOL website: au/your-safety/crimeprevention-and-security 

Senior Constables Ty Melville and Mark Ridgwell apprehend an offender. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.




BREAKING THE ICE CYCLE It’s cheap, highly addictive and ultra-powerful. ‘Ice’, or crystal methamphetamine, is now more popular than heroin, causing untold harm to an increasing number of users and posing the greatest threat to the Australian public of all illicit drug types.


he growing addiction to this mind-eating, personality-distorting, lifeending drug is undermining the social fabric of communities, and paying big dividends to the organised criminal syndicates that are profiting from its misery. In recent years the creep of ice use has stretched across the nation, with individuals from all levels of society


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succumbing to its depravity. Ice is one of the strongest drugs in the amphetamine class of drugs. Ice is most commonly ingested through smoking, but can be taken orally or injected directly into the bloodstream. Its impact spreads beyond the havoc wreaked upon the user, which can include depression, paranoia, extreme fatigue and intense cravings for the drug. Ice is linked to violent criminal attacks against innocent bystanders, road deaths, robberies, and vicious assaults against frontline health and law enforcement responders. Wastewater analysis by University of South Australia shows that methamphetamine use in South Australia has tripled over the past four years, with latest figures revealing 388 doses of ice detected per week per 1000 people. South Australia has the second highest methamphetamine consumption per day nation-wide. Ice use among methamphetamine users increased from 22 per cent to 57 per cent between 2010-16, with males between 20-29 years of age being the most prevalent users. In response

to these alarming figures, the South Australian Government recently introduced an Ice Taskforce and subsequent ‘Stop the Hurt’ ice action plan. SAPOL has an integral role in the ‘Stop the Hurt’ strategy, receiving $1.6 million in funding for special operations and training of additional drug dogs and handlers. The plan proposes increased controls over precursor chemicals used to manufacture ice and seeks to give police powers to search a person’s car if they return a positive

drug test. Funding has also been provided for TruNarc electronic drug testing instruments in each country Local Service Area. “This is one of several significant initiatives SAPOL is involved in to reduce the supply of ice and limit its devastating impact on individuals, families and the community,” said Detective

Chief Inspector Tony Crameri, Officer in Charge of Serious and Organised Crime Branch (SOCB). “We also play a major role in the National Ice Taskforce and national drug strategies and conduct regular joint agency operations. At a local level, SAPOL’s amphetaminetype stimulants (ATS) drug action plan, Operation ATLAS, has been active since 2014." A recent Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) report found South Australia was the only state or territory where ATS (including methamphetamine, amphetamine and ecstasy) was the most seized drug. The increasing use of ATS is a major factor in a 40 per cent rise in people facing South Australian courts for illicit drug offences in the last financial year (5545 reports and arrests compared with almost 3950 in 2015-16). “ATLAS is aligned to SAPOL’s Illicit Drug Strategy and focuses on the key areas of enforcement, partnerships and community engagement,

capacity building, and intelligence, analysis and research,” Detective Chief Inspector Crameri said. Operation ATLAS has been a success with 488 arrests and 33 reports made in the past 12 months. In the same period, 7.3 kilograms of amphetamines was seized, with 78 clandestine drug laboratories shut down, nearly 3250 drug diversions issued and more than 3400 motorists caught driving under the influence of methamphetamine or MDMA (ecstasy). Local policing initiatives, such as Operation Acidify, have also had a positive impact. “Run by Berri police, Operation Acidify targeted drug-related crime in the Riverland, resulting in the arrest or report of 183 people for a range of drug offences,” Detective Chief Inspector Crameri said. “The operation netted 320 grams of methamphetamine, along with 1340 ecstasy tablets and a significant quantity of cannabis. It also yielded a vast amount of valuable intelligence.”

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ICE ACTION PLAN The South Australian Ice Action Plan is a step towards addressing the alarming growth of crystal methamphetamine and the damaging consequences on individuals, families and communities.

In recent years the creep of ice use has stretched across the nation, with individuals from all levels of society succumbing to its depravity. BL UEPR IN T IS S U E 2 ~ 2 0 1 7



CRACKS IN THE ICE SAPOL plays a major national role in the fight against ice, leading the National Methylamphetamine Strategy Group which coordinates Operation Vitreus. It involves all state and territory police agencies working in conjunction with Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Border Force, ACIC and AUSTRAC.


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In June 2017, Operation Vitreus saw each state and territory undertake a nationally coordinated twoday operation targeting drugs sent through the Australian postal service. Authorities located an alarming array of illicit substances, with the largest being 40.6 kilograms of methamphetamine. Operation Vitreus resulted in around 50 arrests and provided vital intelligence. “This operation involved significant law enforcement co-operation and should serve as a warning to criminals who try to import or distribute drugs even in small amounts via the mail,” Detective Chief Inspector Crameri said. Three months later SAPOL’s collaborative approach paid more dividends when almost 11 kilograms of ice, with a potential street value of $11 million, was found by Yalata police officers when they stopped a vehicle travelling to Ceduna. Two men inside the vehicle were charged with possessing a large commercial quantity of a controlled drug. “This substantial outcome was the direct result of knowledge shared by law

enforcement agencies,” Detective Chief Inspector Crameri said. “It highlights the outstanding results we can achieve given a tactical, coordinated multi-agency response to the scourge of illicit drugs, particularly ice, on our streets." A coordinated national approach is vital considering the international nature of today’s drug trade. It’s thought that half of Australia’s ice is made in this country, in clan labs using basic, widelyavailable ingredients; the other half mostly comes from China, Mexico, Iran, SouthEast Asia, United States and Canada. Although ice is described as a cheap drug, Australians pay the highest prices in the world. In China, one of the largest producers, ice sells for the equivalent of $US80 per gram. In Australia, ice at its cheapest sells for $US300400 a gram. This makes Australia an attractive target to transnational crime groups for the importation of ice and its precursor chemicals. In late 2015, a joint investigation by SAPOL, AFP, Australian Border Force

and the Indonesian National Narcotics Board resulted in the seizure of 60 kilograms of ice, worth around $40 million. “The drug was located in a shipment of stone products destined for Adelaide from Indonesia, with police initiating a controlled delivery of the products to a business address in Royal Park. A Hells Angels associate was arrested and charged over the ice importation,” Detective Chief Inspector Crameri said. “Joint operations allow a more rapid exchange of intelligence and offer the best chance of large scale success in limiting the supply of ice.” According to ACIC, more than 60 per cent of Australia’s highest risk serious and organised crime targets are involved in the methamphetamine market. They are driving the upward trends and user demand for ice and thriving on the profits. “Serious and organised crime groups are at the centre of the evolving and lucrative criminal market for the production, distribution and use of ice in Australia,” said Detective Senior Sergeant First Class (SS1C) Grant Garritty from SOCB.

Half of Australia’s ice is made in this country, in clan labs, using basic, widelyavailable ingredients. “An increasing amount of ice is coming into the country via shipments of various sizes, particularly from crime groups based in Asia, with many suppliers using the Dark Web. Therefore it’s imperative that we continue to work with federal agencies to limit the supply.” Ice use is rising, purity is increasing, and police are seeing greater seizures of the drug – but more needs to be done. “Ice is not solely an issue for law enforcement. The fight against ice is for everyone – governments, law enforcement agencies, health, education, industry, nongovernment organisations, community leaders, parents, teachers and peers,” Detective SS1C Garritty said. “SAPOL is one important part of the cog in reducing supply, but everyone needs to play their part.”  OPPOSITE PAGE: Officers and

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Crameri with ice seized from a recent joint-agency operation. Photos: SAPOL Photographic Section.

ABOVE AND RIGHT: Illicit drugs

concealed in packaging.

CENTRE: A clandestine lab shut

down by police.

TOP: Police search a property for illicit drugs.

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Dealing with the tip of the iceberg


etective Sergeant Rob White from Elizabeth Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) believes ice use in the community has increased the demands on frontline police officers. “Patrols are regularly encountering users committing thefts to pay for their drug habit or swapping stolen property for drugs. A majority of offenders we deal with daily are under the influence of ice. Many are so drug affected they are suffering paranoia and psychosis resulting in standoffs with police,” he said. “This has a flow-on effect at the cell complex where those arrested are not fit for custody and need to be taken to hospital for treatment or mental health assessment which can often take patrols away from the frontline for several hours.” Ice has a significant impact across all areas of policing, including traffic where officers deal with ice-using drivers who endanger road users, and domestic violence where a partner’s drug use can cause irrational behaviour and draining of savings to support habits. “CIBs across the state have seen how ice use can be directly related to home invasions and murders,” Detective Sergeant White said.


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“Several recent murders within Elizabeth Local Service Area have been directly linked to ice, whether it be recouping debts for money owed to drug dealers or to those who are thinking so irrationally that they’re unaware of their own actions, which in-turn provides greater risk to frontline officers.” Over the past 20 years Detective Sergeant White has seen the change in policing focus from heroin use and overdoses to amphetamines becoming the most common drug in the community. “It’s now quite common for Volume Crime Teams to seize multiple ounces of methamphetamine from vehicle stops, which was unheard of years ago,” he said. “A team member recently conducted a vehicle stop and found a significant amount of methamphetamine in a concealed compartment within the vehicle. The subsequent search of the dealer’s house located a quantity of methamphetamine oil which when converted would yield nearly four kilos of the drug. “The amount of ice dealers has increased significantly, from the low level dealers who buy a ball of meth and cut it up into smaller amounts to sell to a select few to support their

own addiction, to the higher level dealers who are doing it as a ‘business’ for profit.” Police and paramedics are often left to bear the brunt of violent, crazed ice users in a bid to stop them hurting themselves and others in the community. “I have had offenders thank me for arresting them and sending them to prison as it enables them to withdraw and in their words “dry out”. It also gives them a sudden realisation of the hurt they’ve not only done to

themselves and others, but to their own families who are often trying to support them and are usually the ones who get hurt the most,” Detective Sergeant White said. “Paramedics and hospitals see first-hand the increase in ice use along with retailers who are suffering from shop theft by users to support habits. This obviously has a flow-on effect to every member of the community.” 

I have had offenders thank me for arresting them and sending them to prison as it enables them to withdraw and in their words “dry out”.

Senior Constable First Class Colin Woollett conducts a drug driving test. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

Drug drivers on thin ice T

he impact of illicit drugs such as ice is now being seen on South Australian roads. The number of South Australian motorists who tested positive for methamphetamine increased from 533 in 2010 to 2903 in 2016 – a rise of more than 400 per cent. Roadside drug driving tests can detect the impairing substance in methamphetamine for at least 24 hours. This highlights a disturbing trend, with detection rates for drug drivers on the state’s roads now higher than those for drink drivers. During the 2016-17 financial year, there were 5196 detections for drug driving compared to 5227 for drink driving, despite drink driving testing being far more prevalent. Positive alcohol detection rates are about

one per cent while the drug detection rate has increased to around 11 per cent. Officer in Charge of Traffic Support Branch, Superintendent Anthony Fioravanti, said motorists driving while under the influence of illicit drugs turned vehicles into lethal weapons. “Driving under the influence of drugs can affect a driver’s reaction time, coordination, judgement of speed and distance and their concentration,” he said. “The increasing number of people being caught drug driving is concerning. Alarmingly, more drug affected drivers are being killed on our roads. “In 2016, 30 per cent of drivers/riders killed in fatal crashes tested positive for

the presence of cannabis, methamphetamine or ecstasy, or a combination of these, compared to 24 per cent in 2015.” The increase in positive drug tests highlights the severity of illicit drug use in the community, particularly the increase in methamphetamine use. Contributing to the high drug detection rate is the fact that more police officers are now qualified to conduct drug tests. “Traffic enforcement officers right across the state are specifically trained to conduct the tests, so detection can occur anytime, anywhere,” Superintendent Fioravanti said. “This has increased the effectiveness of drug testing, along with intelligence-led

targeting of locations where drug users are more likely to be found on the roads.” There is zero tolerance for drug drivers, with proposed new laws allowing for stronger penalties. These include an automatic threemonth licence disqualification for first-time offenders along with increased disqualification periods for repeat offenders. “The tougher measures will continue to enforce the message that drug drivers have no place on our roads,” Superintendent Fioravanti said. 

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Message to the community is crystal clear

SAPOL has been at the forefront of community education on the impact of ice, leading a number of forums across metropolitan and country areas.


he ice scourge is tearing apart thousands of Australian families, with the impact keenly felt in tightknit regional communities across regional South Australia. An Australian population survey found rates of methamphetamine use were twice as high among people living in remote or very remote areas. Although wastewater testing shows that the ice use rate in


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regional South Australia is much lower than that of the Adelaide metropolitan area, these areas remain a concern. SAPOL has been at the forefront of community education on the impact of ice, leading a number of forums across metropolitan and country areas. SAPOL has worked closely with SA Health to provide health information and policing advice to the community.

Drug forums have been held in Mount Gambier, Whyalla, Murray Bridge, Barossa Valley and the Riverland, along with far-reaching areas such as Roxby Downs. Community forums have been particularly popular in the Limestone Coast Local Service Area (LSA). Around 700 people attended the first ‘Understanding the Ice Factor’ forum in Mount Gambier in February 2015. The overwhelming success of this event resulted in a further 10 forums being held across the south-east region, attracting more than 2000 concerned community members. The forums were the brainchild of the Limestone Coast Drug Action Team

(LCDAT), chaired by former Limestone Coast LSA Crime Prevention Section manager Sergeant Paul Scicluna. Combining government and non-government personnel, the LCDAT positively contributes to the objectives of the National Drug Strategy. Its work in the community along with the successful ice forums has prompted visits to Mount Gambier from both the federal and state governments’ ice taskforces. “Ice is the current drug of choice in regional Australia. Despite a downward trend in the LSA’s crime statistics, anecdotally crime figures are impacted by the desire of those affected to fuel their addiction, with serious

criminal trespass, theft and anger-related behaviour increasing as a result of ice,” said Sergeant Andy Stott, manager of the LSA’s Crime Prevention Section. “Some ice addicts are successful business people, who are destroying their families and businesses as a consequence of their habit. “While addiction affects an individual, the ripples of addiction represent a substantial long-term cost in both financial and emotional terms. This affects community and family wellbeing, placing strains on health and medical services, police and justice systems and substantially impacting on community safety.” Besides chairing the LCDAT, Sergeant Stott is also an integral member of the Substance Misuse Limestone Coast working party, along with representatives from City

of Mount Gambier, University of South Australia, LCDAT and Rotary Club of Mount Gambier West. Established two years ago, the group aims to address the misuse of all drugs across the region through a community based collaborative model and also conduct education programs in schools and for the wider

community. “While many regional communities share this drug problem, strategies for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation require a wholeof-community approach that recognises existing community strengths and weaknesses in infrastructure, human resources and funding

opportunities across both private and government sectors,” he said. “The Limestone Coast region is committed to a collaborative solution that works across agencies to achieve practical, immediate, short-term and longer term solutions.” 

Cold hard facts about ice • Methamphetamine typically comes in three different forms – ice, base and speed. Ice is often the purer form, meaning it gives a stronger and longer lasting high. It also gives more potent and serious side effects, both during use and in the ‘comedown’ or ‘crash’ phase after use.

• From 2010 to 2016 among regular methamphetamine users there was a 36 per cent increase in ice and 30 per cent decrease in speed.*

• Ice is a synthetic (man-made) drug which can be processed and cut (diluted) with acetone, lithium, sulphuric acid and other unknown substances.

• Of those who had used methamphetamines (including ice) in the past 12 months, 20.4 per cent used weekly or daily and 10.6 per cent used once a month.*

• Other street names for ice include meth, shard, rock and crystal.

• Compared to other forms of methamphetamine, ice has a greater potential for the user to develop dependence, psychosis, and other long-term physical and mental health problems.

• Ice is often smoked or injected but can also be swallowed or snorted. • Ice is usually sold in points (0.1g) or grams and can be mixed with other substances. This reduces its purity and makes the effects for the user even more unpredictable. • Effects from single use may last for 24-48 hours; effects from longer term use may last up to 18 months.

• One in 70 people have used methamphetamine in the past year.*

• Using ice is illegal, as is possessing, making, selling and importing/exporting ice. • Currently, there are no particular pharmacological treatments for ice addiction. For now, the most effective treatment available is cognitive behaviour therapy. *

• Ice can affect people from all walks of life.

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A POSITIVE VEHICLE TO KEEP YOUTH ON TRACK An innovative relationship between SAPOL and Nuriootpa High School is steering youth in the right direction and building rapport and trust between police and students.


ince 2014 SAPOL has partnered with Nuriootpa High School in their automotive pathways program, which involves a number of Year 11 students who are disengaged from

Sergeant Mick McNally with Matt Smith and students from the automotive pathways program. Photo courtesy The Barossa Leader.


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mainstream schooling and at risk of offending. The key component of the program is the building and maintenance of a VX Commodore race car. The program is the brainchild of the school’s vocational educational coordinator Matt Smith who set the wheels in motion in 2014 by gaining financial support from several local businesses. He then approached Sergeant Mick McNally from the Barossa Local Service Area (LSA) Crime Prevention Section to be the test driver for the race car. Sergeant McNally saw this as a unique opportunity to engage with students and develop strong relationships. He has been heavily involved in the program in a mentoring

capacity, working with students on the mechanical aspects while also offering advice on a range of policing topics. “The automotive program consistently attracts a large percentage of young people at risk of offending or dropping out of school, and contains some students who have already had contact with police via the juvenile justice system,” he said. “The partnership enables police to get to know these students in a casual environment and build trust with them via workshop activities.” The Barossa Blue Light Chairman has managed to secure more than $5000 in sponsorship from Blue Light branches to help fund the

program. It has proven to be a great investment, with students gaining skills and experience to help with future employment and developing a more open and friendly relationship with police. “Some of the students struggle with classroom learning and adapt much better to hands-on learning so we get to know them, find out what areas of employment they have a passion for and see if any of our community contacts can assist,” Sergeant McNally said. “The program also enables students to raise issues such as road safety, drug use, employment concerns and family situations. I can be a resource for them to use, if and when they feel comfortable to do so.

Sergeant McNally laps it up at Mallala Motorsport Park. Photo courtesy Nuriootpa High School.

“With the more at-risk students it can often take a couple of terms to gain their confidence but once gained they tend to open up about a range of issues affecting their life. I can then offer advice or use my knowledge of community agencies and assistance providers to point them in the right direction to obtain assistance.”

A DRIVING FORCE IN THE COMMUNITY Nuriootpa High School’s design and technology coordinator John Barkley has seen several positive results from the program. “It’s a great combination of strong community support and offering students valuable learning opportunities in an authentic environment, which can lead to real employment pathways in the automotive field,” he said. Around 30 Year 11 students are currently participating in the program, which has had a significant effect on student engagement. “Being involved and seeing potential career opportunities have boosted the level of student engagement, along with academic performance.

We’ve also seen an overall increase in positive behaviours,” Mr Barkley said. “SAPOL’s involvement has been invaluable, particularly the huge personal contribution from Sergeant McNally. “His passion for car racing and his ability to support our automotive program through both his direct involvement and contact support has been very pleasing and has contributed to the program’s overall success.” The program has had a positive impact on participants. Jess Hefford is one of many Year 11 students who believe it’s a great learning experience that has increased their enjoyment and interest in school. “Working on a race car is a wonderful opportunity for the whole class, as this program is not offered at other schools. It has given me valuable knowledge and opened up possible career pathways,” she said. Students have also developed a new perception of police, with the program breaking down barriers between youth and the law. “Working alongside Sergeant McNally has

changed my view of police officers. It’s shown me that they’re actually nice people and not like the stereotype many young people have,” said Jarrod Saegenschnitter. The students’ hard work in building the Commodore race car recently culminated in Sergeant McNally unleashing his inner Peter Brock at Mallala Motorsport Park for the car’s first test drive. Students worked in the pits to fine-tune the car and witness their training coming to fruition. “This program continues to be an extremely rewarding experience for everyone involved,” Sergeant McNally said.

“It’s been great to see some of the students find employment or stay in school and do Year 12, but the most rewarding experience is when the more at-risk and ‘standoffish’ students open up to you and you start to establish trust with them. “As the youth and cautioning officer for Barossa LSA, I have also noticed a significant drop in young offenders from Nuriootpa High School since the program began. This highlights the importance of this ongoing partnership and what can be achieved when the community works together.” 

The automotive program consistently attracts a large percentage of young people at risk of offending or dropping out of school. BL UEPR IN T IS S U E 2 ~ 2 0 1 7



NEARS THE FINISH LINE SAPOL is gearing up for Lightsview Ride Like Crazy on Sunday, 14 January 2018 which will be the 10th and final ride of this muchloved community event.


ver the past decade more than 12 000 riders have participated, raising an incredible $1.5 million for charity and generating awareness for brain cancer while promoting wellbeing and road safety. Assistant Commissioner (AC) Peter Harvey is one of the event’s organising team who,


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along with countless SAPOL staff and volunteers, has ensured the ride has become so popular and successful. “SAPOL has proudly supported the ride as both a community event and a way to raise much needed funds for cancer research,” he said. “With so many competing charity events now available to the community we have decided to finish on a high while rider numbers and interest in the event are still strong.” Participants will get one last chance to pedal the gruelling 107 kilometres through the Adelaide Hills. Cyclists can also take the 90-kilometre shortcut option or a leisurely half-ride of 51 kilometres. “It will be the culmination of 10 years of camaraderie, friendship and generosity shown by an overwhelming amount of people. We’re hoping to attract as many riders as possible to ensure this last event continues to make a difference to people’s lives,” AC Harvey said. “Ride Like Crazy will leave a lasting legacy and be remembered for the pathway it has created for brain cancer

research, prevention and treatment in South Australia.” In September 2008, 43-year-old Senior Sergeant Mick ‘Crazy’ Koerner was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Given a prognosis of only several weeks, he showed great strength to witness around 600 cyclists take to the road on 22 January 2009 in a fundraising event named in his honour. Ride Like Crazy was initially conceived as a small event by Senior Sergeant Koerner’s colleagues in STAR Group. Due to the overwhelming success of the first event, SAPOL adopted the ride as a community event in 2010 with the aim of raising valuable funds to fight cancer. Sadly, Senior Sergeant Koerner lost his battle on 14 November 2009, however his memory has lived on through this extremely popular ride.

Over the years the ride has supported a number of charities including Neurosurgical Research Foundation, Flinders Foundation, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Childhood Cancer and Icon Cancer Care and worked with Scouts Australia, Rotary Club of Burnside and Fred’s Van. Since the 2011 event, Flinders Foundation has formed a strong partnership with SAPOL and the Neurosurgical Research Foundation. Flinders Foundation CEO Amanda Shiell says this has resulted in many positive developments in brain cancer research. “Ride Like Crazy has provided crucial support for the state’s only Neurological



Tumour Bank based at Flinders Medical Centre. The bank stores brain tumour tissue for researchers to investigate new ways to unlock the mysteries of brain cancer,” she said. “There are approximately 1600 new cases of brain and central nervous system cancers diagnosed each year in Australia. Without access to brain tumour tissue, researchers would not be able to progress their work towards finding a cure.” Ride Like Crazy has funded the installation of specialised equipment in operating theatres at Flinders Medical Centre as well as high-tech laboratory equipment. “More than 100 patients have already consented to having their tumour specimens bio-banked at Flinders and a number of research projects are

under way or soon to begin. This would not be possible without the event’s generous support,” Ms Shiell said. Ginta Orchard, Executive Officer at the Neurosurgical Research Foundation, says Ride Like Crazy has raised awareness of brain tumours, leading to increased research and government funding. “It has funded vital research which has led to the development of clinical treatments and trials, along with collaborations and extensions of research throughout Australia and internationally,” she said. “The funded research is particularly focusing on improving patient prognosis from months to years. “Medical research is a costly and lengthy process but we hope this will have longterm benefits in reducing the impact of brain tumours

which kill nearly 1300 people each year, and eight out of 10 people diagnosed within five years.” For Jody Koerner, the final Ride Like Crazy will be both a happy and sad day for her family. “For me it has been an amazing 10 years full of people getting together for the same reason – the common respect and love of a man who influenced many, and to make a difference to other people whose lives are deeply affected by brain cancer,” she said. “Ride Like Crazy has been a huge success as it is such a well-run and supported event from SAPOL and the many volunteers that make it happen year after year, most of whom have been there from the very beginning. “What sets it apart from the many other charity bike rides

is the sense of camaraderie amongst the organisers and that nothing is too much trouble.” As an ex-SAPOL employee, wife of Mick ‘Crazy’ Koerner and mother of a current serving member, Jody is immensely proud of what SAPOL has achieved with Ride Like Crazy. “The impact it has had on our lives has been immeasurable. The event has brought families and friends together annually and many new people that have joined along the way have been so impressed that they have kept returning,” she said. “I urge all of you to get out your bikes and lycra, and ride like crazy for one last time.” To register for the final ride, visit the website: 

TOP and LEFT: Riders ‘pedalling’ their wares at the 2017 Ride Like Crazy. TOP: The route for

the 2018 event.

OPPOSITE PAGE: Riders wearing Ride Like Crazy jerseys from each of the 10 years; and Senior Sergeant Mick Koerner.

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SAPOL’s Dog Operations Unit has long been recognised for its fine pedigree, particularly with regards to training. For the past decade the unit has taken the lead in a close working relationship with Tasmania Police (TASPOL), sharing its expertise to help their Dog Handlers Squad collar criminals.




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he relationship began in 2008 when Dog Operations Unit members, Sergeants Darryn Conroy and Gordon Smith, visited the ‘Apple Isle’ to conduct a Drug Detection Dog Course where they trained five Passive Alert Detection Dog (PADD) teams. Three years later, Sergeants Smith and Conroy returned to Tasmania to further expand TASPOL’s capability and take the squad’s People Screening Course. Due to natural attrition within the Dog Handlers Squad, Sergeant Peter Crouch travelled to Tasmania in February 2016 to conduct a 10-week PADD course at the local Police Academy. “The course included four new handlers and dogs and one experienced handler and dog that had previously undertaken a course conducted by a member of the Dog Handlers Squad,” he said. “The experienced handler and dog had not achieved a successful search since graduating 12 months prior, so it was important that we offered a new training approach.” TASPOL agreed with Sergeant Crouch’s

recommendation for all handlers to start their training from scratch and undertake the full SAPOL-run course. “I conducted the ‘imprinting’ phase of the course, with Sergeant Conroy taking the remainder of the course where he continued to train all dogs and handlers in vehicle, building, freight and people screening,” Sergeant Crouch said. “All dog teams including the experienced handler have gone on to enjoy significant success since graduating last year.” The graduate canines haven’t let their training opportunity go begging, sniffing out three separate ice seizures at Hobart airport this year worth a total of almost $1 million, along with a significant number of people screening successes. One of the graduates, two-year-old Police Dog (PD) Fang showed dogged determination in locating cannabis, ice and cocaine in his first three weeks on the job. He also played a vital role in Operation Vitreus in June this year, which saw TASPOL detect 23 parcels containing ice, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and other drugs including steroids in packages at mail centres in Hobart and Launceston. Sergeants Crouch and Conroy were recognised by TASPOL with a Certificate of Appreciation and acknowledged by the Officer in Charge, Special Response Counter Terrorism, for their high quality training and significant commitment. They also received considerable local media attention when the team graduated. Officer in Charge of TASPOL’s Dog Handlers Squad, Sergeant Ian Shepherd participated in the first SAPOL-run PADD course in 2008 and has maintained a strong relationship with SAPOL ever since. “Our relationship with SAPOL has led to long-term personal and professional relationships and some truly outstanding results,” he said.

“The efforts of Sergeants Smith, Crouch and Conroy have been inspirational. “They have taken immense personal pride in ensuring that TASPOL built the foundation for an extremely functional and successful detector dog unit. Our dogs regularly intercept drugs at airports and mail centres and support warrant searches, transit checks and people screening operations.” Sergeant Shepherd singled out Sergeant Conroy for particular praise. “In 2012 Sergeant Conroy personally trained and delivered TASPOL’s only explosives detection dog PD Cassie who is currently seven and approaching retirement,” he said. “He has trained all four drug detector dogs and one explosives detector dog, ably assisted by Sergeant Crouch.” Sergeant Conroy returned to Tasmania in September with his companion PD Ice to undertake a two-week trial of the General Purpose Dog Capability after a recent spike in the number of evade police offences across the state. Tasmania remains the only Australian jurisdiction not to have its own tracker dog. “The trial was a great success in targeting offenders evading police,” Sergeant Shepherd said. “It also highlighted the continued success of our close working relationship

with SAPOL’s Dog Operations Unit. Their patience, commitment and expertise over the years has been fantastic and is now being reflected in the achievements of our Dog Handlers Squad.” 

ABOVE: Sergeants Darryn Conroy and Peter Crouch with members of TASPOL’s Dog Handlers Squad; and with their certificates of appreciation. OPPOSITE PAGE:

Sergeant Darryn Conroy and PD Ice enjoy the Tasmanian winter. Photos courtesy TASPOL.

Dog Operations Unit's patience, commitment and expertise over the years has been fantastic and is now being reflected in the achievements of our Dog Handlers Squad. PD Fang using his common ‘scents’ during Operation Vitreus. Photo courtesy TASPOL.

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Police dogs to be protected from ‘ruff’ treatment S

outh Australia’s police dogs are being fitted with stab-resistant harnesses. The Mako harnesses were designed in New Zealand specifically for use by police agencies on general purpose working dogs. Initially the harnesses will be provided to the 12 general duties dogs in SAPOL’s Dog Operations Unit, ahead of those doing drug, firearms or explosives detection work. In 2013 PD Koda was stabbed multiple times by an offender while on duty, prompting new laws with increased penalties for offences against police animals. While SAPOL has not lost a dog on duty to date, the new harness will offer dogs an added layer of protection. The unit’s Operations Manager, Senior Sergeant Kurt Newcombe, said the harness provides police dogs with a vital safety enhancement. “This product is the result of years of research and development; there is nothing else like it in the market,” he said. “Our police dogs are part of our immediate police family and we treat them as such, so it’s important we keep them safe on the frontline.” The identification panels across the front and side of the harness provide the community with clear visual identification of a dog as a Police Dog, particularly when it is working off-lead. While protecting the dog and presenting a professional image, the lightweight harness also provides enhanced dog control and retention, and improved benefits for handlers when lifting the dogs which can weigh 30-40 kilograms each. “The harnesses are fitted with lifting handles to assist


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handlers in hauling the dogs over fences and other obstacles, which is a huge step forward for the handlers’ health and safety,” Senior Sergeant Newcombe said. SAPOL has been carefully testing the protection harnesses to ensure they do not restrict a dog’s mobility or affect their welfare. Consideration is also being given to future uses of the harnesses, including fitting body cameras on the dogs. “They are designed to provide positioning or placement of other tactical equipment, so we’re keeping an open mind in terms of what the equipment might be in the future,” Senior Sergeant Newcombe said. “We are pleased to be able to provide this extra level of protection to our dogs who provide a valuable service to SAPOL and the wider community.” 

PD Nero in his stab-resistant harness with handler Senior Constable First Class Daniel Lacey. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.



Today’s increasingly technologyliterate community expects more widespread and direct interaction with police via the latest technology. To achieve this, policing organisations need to be constantly evolving, adopting innovative technological means to enhance operational policing.


APOL’s Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) Service is at the forefront of modern policing, setting the strategic direction for technology use across the organisation and capitalising on new and emerging trends. With nearly 160 staff across seven branches, IS&T Service is vital to the successful delivery of a range of significant initiatives.

“Several frontline policing projects are under way, including the state-wide deployment of body worn video cameras and the roll-out of both mobile rugged tablets and upgraded portable data terminals,” said Superintendent Scott Allison, Manager of IS&T Innovation and Solutions Branch. “This technology has the potential to revolutionise the work of frontline officers. Having the right information at the touch of your fingertips while in the field is invaluable for informed decisionmaking. “Mobile rugged tablets in particular have generated time savings and improved service delivery. Data entry is now occurring ‘in the field’ and statements can be signed by the witness or victim via e-signature.” In late 2016 SAPOL become the second Australian jurisdiction to introduce facial recognition technology. The software enables police to scan faces from CCTV footage and other sources and match them against offender databases. It can also be used for forensic and missing persons cases.

SAPOL has also invested significant resources in Program Shield – the new records management system replacing many of SAPOL’s legacy mainframe systems. While Shield continues to be rolled out, IS&T are planning the implementation of the Investigation Support Desk, State Crime Assessment Centre and the District Policing Model as part of SAPOL’s Organisational Reform Program. “Technology is one of the core drivers of the SAPOL 2020 strategy,” Superintendent Allison said. “There are several other technological initiatives being investigated to support our people and operations. An example is predictive analytics, which can provide greater insight in predicting demand and alerting officers to real-time crime trends. “There are also advancements in mobile computer aided dispatch

which will change the way we manage field deployment, benefiting both officers and the community.” Chief Inspector Vince Foyel, Program Shield Business Change Manager, believes the positive impact of new technology would not be possible without the substantial work performed behind the scenes by IS&T Service. “Countless hours and resources are expended by business analysts, developers, integrators, testers, trainers and support personnel to ensure that officers have access to greater levels of information, are better informed and more efficient,” he said. “Maintaining SAPOL’s information and communications technology (ICT) systems so they are available and operational 24/7 is a full-time business within itself.” Services provided by IS&T are often perceived as ‘back office’ and largely ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Backend infrastructure changes, for example, have been integral to supporting an increasingly mobile workforce requiring expanded access to SAPOL systems via portable electronic devices. “IS&T Service not only delivers major projects but is responsible for the ongoing evolution, support, maintenance and resolution of issues associated with SAPOL’s systems,” said SAPOL’s Chief Technology Officer, Paul Bassett.

Constable Alexandra Rabig enters data on a mobile rugged tablet. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

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“This covers support on first contact by both the IS&T Service Desk and Business Support Unit. Any issues unable to be resolved at this stage are escalated to IS&T resolver teams, with in-depth expertise across a wide range of areas.” The broad spectrum of responsibilities covered by IS&T Service also includes business intelligence and data warehousing, ICT security and auditing, and the provision and support of network and server infrastructure for SAPOL’s systems. “Radio and Technical Support Unit looks after operational technology such as fleet vehicle communications, red light and speed cameras, radars and breath analysis units. IS&T also comprises application and integration support teams responsible for SAPOL’s business systems, and testing teams that undertake complex and integrated testing of updates to these systems,” Mr Bassett said. Technology is constantly evolving, generating multiple opportunities to make policing more effective. “IS&T staff have a crucial role in providing officers with quick access to up-to-date information and ensuring it can be collated from a variety of different systems and sources,” Superintendent Allison said. “As a service, we are committed to ensuring SAPOL remains a leader in mobile technology and keeps up with the rapid pace of technological innovation in order to meet the changing needs of both staff and the community.” 


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Capturing the moment S

outh Australia’s frontline police are being equipped with new state-of-the-art body worn video cameras. The state-wide deployment of up to 1000 Edesix VB-320 devices and the supporting digital evidence management system VideoManager began in April 2017 with 28 cameras provided to officers based at Hindley Street Police Station. More recently, 78 cameras have been successfully deployed to the Road Policing Sections and 48 cameras to

first responder general duties patrols at Grenfell Street Police Station. The staged roll-out of body worn video across the state will continue through to 2019. Officers are given the camera at the start of their shift, and return the device before clocking off so captured vision can be uploaded and saved in the central VideoManager system. The camera, attached to the police vest at the front of the shoulder, is activated by the officer during interactions

with the public. Superintendent Scott Allison says the overt recording devices aim to improve the safety of frontline police, boost productivity, assist in judicial matters and increase public confidence in police. “The cameras provide an important two-dimensional record of each interaction and can deliver a quicker resolution of criminal matters and other conflicts,” he said. “The camera features a wide angled lens, works well

at night time and in low light and captures clear audio, making it a valuable evidence gathering tool. “Once fully deployed across the state, this technology will significantly influence frontline policing.” Constable Letti PearceKemp from the Hindley Street patrol team has been using body worn video for several months. “Wearing the camera on the job each day has been an easy adjustment. It is simple

to operate and a light on the device signals when it’s in use,” she said. “It definitely improves officer safety as the camera captures events as they materialise from all angles. Since being introduced at Hindley Street there has been a reduction in officer

assaults and complaints against police.” The use of body worn video has been well received by the community. “People initially seem curious about the camera but I have not experienced any adverse reaction from them,” Constable PearceKemp said.

“It does seem to deescalate some volatile situations quite quickly and reduces anti-social behaviour as people are aware they’re being filmed. “Some offenders have taken the opportunity to voice their opinions inappropriately but most people see the camera for the transparency for which it is intended.” 

Constables Victoria Dawber and Lauren Foote patrol Hindley Street while displaying body worn video devices. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.




The simulator provides realistic 3D audio and special effects to hone judgement, decisionmaking and tactics in the many challenging situations police officers encounter.


A new state-of-the-art virtual reality firearms training simulator is providing greater scope for learning at the Police Academy.


he first upgrade of SAPOL’s firearms training simulator in more than a decade, the new VirTra V-100 simulator provides a safe environment for both novice and experienced officers to use exact inert replicas of their M&P 40 pistol, oleoresin capsicum spray and X2 electronic control devices while negotiating immersive scenarios. Senior Sergeant Dave Walker from the Operational


BL UE P R IN T IS S U E 2 ~ 2017

Safety Training Team said the $480 000 simulator provides a range of benefits. “The VirTra virtual reality Firearms and Tactical Options Simulator provides police officers with highly realistic and interactive scenarios. We have the ability to design these scenarios incorporating South Australian landscapes and buildings, whereas in the past such systems were limited to American scenery and actors. This vastly increases the realism of the

scenarios thereby enhancing existing training,” he said. “The system uses accurately scaled characters, vehicles and buildings on a large screen to achieve the realism for each scenario. Immersive technology relies on this as the trainees are encouraged to communicate with the characters in an effort to elicit their desired outcome.” The ability to ‘branch’ each scenario to a different conclusion based on such tactical communication provides great latitude to the

instructor to test the trainee’s de-escalation skills and appropriate responses. “The technology allows officers to practice communicating with violent people or, if a situation is escalated by the instructor, apply their understanding of justification for the use of the full range of tactical options including oleoresin capsicum spray, electronic control devices or the M&P 40 pistol,” Senior Sergeant Walker said. The simulator provides realistic 3D audio and special effects to hone judgement, decision-making and tactics in the many challenging

Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Christopher Russell and SC1C Kerry Mountford using the firearms simulator. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.

situations police officers encounter. “Firearms marksmanship fundamentals training for up to five officers can be conducted simultaneously. A video review of the trainees allows for analysis of an officer’s performance well beyond that of live fire ranges,” Senior Sergeant Walker said. “The instructor can use this system to provide instant visual feedback to assist in technique problem identification and decisionmaking.” The training incorporates a simulated live fire range but no live ammunition is used thereby boosting safety

and reducing costs. Being an indoor facility also means no lost training days due to weather. “The simulator has been used to train instructors and cadets at the Academy since June 2017. In future it will also be used by STAR Group for managing high-risk situations and by a range of Local Service Areas for their training cycles and Incident Management and Operational Safety Training,” Senior Sergeant Walker said. “The VirTra system is also used by Victoria and New South Wales Police, along with Australian Border Force. This will enable the sharing of training programs nationally.”

Located in the Academy’s Scenario Village, the simulator is used by around 10-14 cadets per week as part of the initial pistol course. “Cadets have provided positive feedback during the training course, with the simulator greatly assisting them to develop firearm foundational skills,” Senior Sergeant Walker said. “We have already seen an improvement in marksmanship principles prior to cadets doing live fire training on the indoor range.” Cadet Erin Jaensch is one of more than 350 cadets currently training at the Academy who can access the cutting-edge simulator.

“The simulator has greatly enhanced my training experience by demonstrating the unpredictability of highrisk situations we are likely to experience in the future,” she said. “The scenarios presented by the simulator are realistic and challenging to navigate. They rely on quick decisionmaking and good judgement to resolve them in a safe manner. “It is a valuable learning tool and provides a safe way to learn how to assess a situation and react by making quick, logical decisions.” 

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After my father passed away, my family and I found great support and comfort through SA Police Legacy.




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Probationary Constable Laura Koerner with photos of her father at the SA Police Legacy memorial bench in Bonython Park. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section. OPPOSITE PAGE:

On graduation day with her mother Jody and brother Thomas.

Losing a loved one can be overwhelming, especially when the grief is compounded by the financial impact. Thankfully for SAPOL families, SA Police Legacy can soften that blow with caring and timely support.


ince it was founded in 1989, SA Police Legacy has donated more than $1.5 million to hundreds of families of serving or retired South Australian police officers who have passed away. It plays a prominent role in the daily lives of more than 360 “legatees” – widows and widowers – and a further 40 “wards”, or children. It also provides social support to retired members. SA Police Legacy President, Sergeant Mark Willing, says the organisation exists purely due to donations and fundraising. “SA Police Legacy is a registered charity and does not receive government funding. Without the generous contributions of police officers and the community and sales from our merchandise range, we would not be able to provide vital ongoing support to police families in need,” he said. SA Police Legacy currently has around 3400 contributing serving and retired SAPOL members paying a minimum of $2.50 per fortnight. In the last financial year, more than $110 000 was distributed across a range of areas to assist police families. “Around $67 000 was spent on education expenses for children who have been left without a parent, with a further $8000 paid to support children in their personal development,” Sergeant Willing said.

”Serving police officers received $12 000 to assist with their medical expenses and more than $17 000 was paid towards supporting legatees and helping them remain connected with the police family.” To ensure this level of support can be maintained, SA Police Legacy has been actively involved in fundraising at several events, and has generated increased awareness through a strong, growing social media presence. “This year SA Police Legacy has participated in the Thebarton Barracks Open Day, ‘Stadium Stomp’ at Adelaide Oval and the City to Bay Fun Run. We have also raised vital funds from Australia-wide events such as the Wall to Wall Ride for Remembrance and National Police Football Championship,” Sergeant Willing said. “This proactive fundraising, combined with a Facebook page that has seen the number of followers triple in the last six months, highlights the importance of SA Police Legacy and the vital role it can play in police officers’ lives.”

A LEGACY OF LOVE Probationary Constable Laura Koerner has experienced first-hand the value of SA Police Legacy membership. She lost her father, Senior Sergeant Mick Koerner, to an inoperable brain tumour in 2009 when she was just 17 years old. “After my father passed away, my family and I found great support and comfort through SA Police Legacy,” she said. “They provided invaluable financial assistance to myself and my siblings Sarah and Tom which covered education fees, driving tuition and enabled us to travel overseas. “SA Police Legacy also offered my mum many resources throughout the years of raising her family, such as Legacy lunches,

special occasion cards and emails.” SA Police Legacy offered immeasurable financial and emotional support to the Koerner family for seven years, providing an ongoing link with SAPOL which inspired Probationary Constable Koerner to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a police officer. She graduated from the Police Academy on 25 May 2017, winning the Commissioner’s Leadership Award, and is now working at Christies Beach Police Station. “SA Police Legacy gave me an insight into the kind of support and assistance SAPOL employees provide to their fellow members and families, which has only magnified since joining,” she said.

“Like my dad, I intend to be a SA Police Legacy member throughout my policing career as I have seen how vital their support is in a time of need. Dad took great pride in being a police officer so it was great to see this respect reciprocated even after his passing. “SA Police Legacy makes such a difference to people’s lives when they really need it. My family learnt the hard way that life can be unpredictable – it’s a support you hope you never need to use but will be extremely thankful for it if you do.” To find out more about SA Police Legacy, visit their website: www.policelegacysa. 

Since it was founded in 1989, SA Police Legacy has donated more than $1.5 million to hundreds of families of serving or retired South Australian police officers who have passed away. BL UEPR IN T IS S U E 2 ~ 2 0 1 7



NEW GUN LAWS TARGET A SAFER COMMUNITY In 1996 an entire country was horrified when 35 people were killed and 23 wounded in one of the world’s deadliest mass shootings in the quiet Tasmanian tourist site of Port Arthur. Just over 20 years since that fateful day, governments continue to develop tougher, uniform gun restrictions to further reduce the incidence of gunrelated crime and deaths.

ABOVE: A steel gun safe. OPPOSITE PAGE: Assistant

Commissioner Phil Newitt with David Handyside at the launch of the state firearms amnesty. Photo: SAPOL Photographic Section.


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outh Australia is leading the way with the introduction of the Firearms Act 2015 and Firearms Regulations 2017 on 1 July 2017. The new legislation enhances public safety by specifically targeting criminals and reinforcing obligations on licensed firearms owners by introducing higher standards of security for the privilege of owning firearms. According to Superintendent Kym Hand, Officer in Charge of Firearms Branch, the legislation supports lawful and safe access to firearms for the state’s 65 000 licensees while being mindful of the interests and safety of the 1.6 million South Australians who don’t have firearms.

“The new legislation gets rid of the storage of firearms in rickety old cupboards and flimsy clothing lockers, instead requiring steel gun safes. Greater requirements for security of large numbers of firearms and those of greatest risk, such as handguns, seek generational change in the way we handle our firearms,” he said. “The expansion of the Firearm Prohibition Order legislation to prohibit and control efforts by criminals, particularly outlaw motorcycle gangs, to gain access to firearms will further enhance public safety.” Another feature of the new legislation is the broadening of mandatory reporting

Greater requirements for security of large numbers of firearms, such as handguns, seek generational change in the way we handle our firearms.

requirements, which will ensure a greater level of knowledge by police of people who should not have access to firearms, due to factors including mental or physical health or unsafe practices which impact on safety. “SAPOL is not anti-guns. There are many lawful sporting, recreational and occupational uses of firearms. We simply seek a healthy balance between these pursuits and community safety,” Superintendent Hand said. “The new legislation was a decade-long body of work. Assistant Commissioner Phil Newitt has guided SAPOL’s entire work program across the past four years, brokering a more collaborative approach from the outset, first as Officer in Charge of Firearms Branch and now as Assistant Commissioner, Operations Support Service. “Firearms Branch represented SAPOL across several years of broad industry consultation, guiding the project through the parliamentary process, committing countless additional hours to responding to over 500 final submissions for the Minister for Police within tight time frames and meeting with parliamentarians and stakeholders to work towards common ground.” Superintendent Hand acknowledged the work of all the stakeholders in achieving consensus across a range of issues. “By replacing the adversarial approach of the past with a more collaborative evidence and risk-based approach, reforms produced a safer system of firearm security, fair transitional arrangements for existing licence holders and the reduction of red tape provisions in support of shooting clubs,” he said. “The positive outcome is testament to the calm

and reasoned approach of Victims of Crime Commissioner Michael O’Connell in providing insights into community impacts, the common sense and practical contribution of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SA Branch) led by President David Handyside and the leadership of police ministers Tony Piccolo and Peter Malinauskas across the journey.” The introduction of the new laws has been supported by a corporate training program for SAPOL employees, along with comprehensive online resources and additional training provided to key rural policing districts. Information provided via the SAPOL website and community forums held by Firearms Branch and Local Service Areas across regional locations in recent months have supported the community. Senior Sergeant Brendon Beh has led the forums, which have attracted hundreds of people and been very well received. “The forums have provided a great opportunity for community members to ask questions and find out how the new laws affect them. Existing gun owners have mainly seen the legislation as fair and reasonable,” he said. Further information about the firearms legislation changes is available online: services-and-events/ firearms-and-weapons/ firearms-changes-2017

AMNESTY TRIGGERS GUN HAND-IN The state’s new firearms legislation is supported by an ongoing general firearms amnesty in South Australia, which commenced on 1 December 2015. A national firearms amnesty was also held from 1 July 2017 to

30 September 2017. With the intent of recovering some of the estimated 260 000 illicit firearms in Australia, the amnesties have triggered a positive response with 8297 firearms surrendered in South Australia. Of these, 74 per cent were handed in at police stations (largely for destruction) and the remainder to participating dealers. Around 1470 surrendered firearms have been registered by people legally able to possess them or lawfully sold to dealers. Rural locations accounted for 60 per cent of all surrendered firearms. “This is a very positive outcome. More than half of all firearms stolen come from rural areas, so it’s pleasing that the community outside of Adelaide has responded so well,” Superintendent Hand said. The state firearms amnesty means people can surrender unwanted, unregistered or illegal firearms without fear of prosecution. Failure to do so may result in tough

penalties of up to $50 000 or up to 10 years’ prison for possessing illegal or unregistered firearms. During the amnesty, participating licensed firearms dealers will accept the surrender of firearms for destruction on behalf of SAPOL. They will also hold surrendered firearms for safekeeping and assist holders of firearms licences to undertake registration procedures or purchase surrendered firearms. “Participating dealers and the firearms community, in particular the Sporting Shooters Association who played a significant role in the development of the state amnesty, have been very supportive of this program,” Superintendent Hand said. Further information and a full list of participating dealers are available online: au/services-and-events/ firearms-and-weapons/ firearms-amnesty 



Moments in Time

MALL BOMBING On Saturday, 26 July 1975 Sturt were playing West Adelaide in an SANFL game at Football Park when the stadium was rocked at 3.50 pm by an explosion emanating from the car park at the nearby West Lakes Mall. During the trial, allegations were made that Shuttleworth’s widow, Wendy Elaine Shuttleworth, had been involved in an affair with O’Sullivan. In January the following year she would also be charged with murder, a crime for which she was at first convicted of and subsequently acquitted at a later trial.


hortly beforehand William Shuttleworth, a 40-year-old from Mitchell Park, had knocked off work as a carpenter at the new John Martins shopping complex. Shuttleworth turned the ignition on in his green Morris Mini sedan, immediately detonating a bomb which had been placed under the driver’s seat some six days prior. He died instantly. Debris and body parts were strewn across the car park with the car‘s roof landing 150 metres away near the Kmart store. While the potential for mass casualties was high, only one other person was injured – Don Evans of Banksia Park – who had been hit by the shattering glass. Homicide detectives were soon on the scene with forensics combing the area for evidence. The following day two arrests were made – Roger Michael O’Sullivan, a 31-year-old invalid pensioner, and George Valentine Mackie, an unemployed stockman, both of Mitchell Park were charged with murder. Three months later a jury of three women and nine men took less than three hours to find both men guilty of murder, the penalty for which at that time was death commuted to imprisonment for life. PHOTOS: John Bartlett and Dean Hannaford inspect the wreckage;

Alan Arthur and Wayne Yelland attend court in January 1976. Photos: South Australian Police Historical Society.

Blueprint magazine Issue 2 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 2 2017  

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