A senior police officer, with over 35 years’ experience in the force, has penned a scathing 4-page letter highlighting the worsening situation at the already dysfunctional SAPOL.
The letter, which was heavily redacted before being made public, points out what many with the misfortune of dealing with SAPOL have long known: Crimes are going unsolved or not being properly investigated, and emergency calls are not being answered on time.
The anonymous author says officers are resigning in droves from a “toxic” force.
The officer says he has “never seen the organisation in such poor shape, with a culture that is virtually non-existent and resignations at an all-time high.”
The officer writes that “the shift to the District Policing Model (DPM) has been by far the worst, most pigheaded decision I have ever seen.”
He lists numerous impacts of this hare-brained scheme, introduced by commissioner Grant Stevens. These include:
- Outstanding investigations that still require follow-up are at an all-time high. “The truth is many of these will never be investigated and will end up being filed as officers simply do not have the time to get to them.”
- In order to cut workloads, many crimes are deemed “minor” by investigators and filed away without any further action.
- Triple-Zero calls are not being answered within appropriate time frames and many calls to the non-emergency 131 444 number are going unanswered.
In an attempt to be seen to be doing something about SAPOL’s documented sexual harassment and rape culture, Stevens in 2016 declared the female proportion of all future recruiting intakes would be at least 50%.
In pursuit of this cosmetic change (which does nothing to actually target the abundant sex predators already within SAPOL), “it is widely known that some females have been promoted [redacted] after having failed critical assessments.”
“SAPOL is now an organisation (business) bogged down in needless red tape and paperwork and it is only going to get worse.”
Take careful note how this officer refers to SAPOL as a business. More on that in a moment.
Despite overwhelming evidence confirming the whistle-blower’s claims, and a staffing shortage caused by record resignations, Stevens angrily rejected the allegations. This is to be expected as the widely-criticized and failed DPM was his initiative.
In closing, the officer writes: “SAPOL is no longer a career – it is a job. Very few that join today will last 40 years; they’ll be lucky to get to 10 as they will be very disillusioned and burnt out.”
Cry Me a River
Its hard to feel sympathy for cops leaving the job early, given their above-average pay and often smarmy attitudes towards law-abiding citizens.
In comparison to other jobs that require no tertiary qualifications, such as call centre work or customer service (where workers don’t have the luxury of tasers, guns and several carloads of armed back up when dealing with aggressive and often drug-affected customers), South Australian police officers receive excellent pay.
Starting salary for a Probationary Constable – like the idiot PC Lovell who applied a crippling leg lock to an unfairly arrested man who was already restrained face down on the ground, costing taxpayers over $700,000 in compensation – is $71,067.
A Senior Constable like Ben Higgins, a serial thug who violently assaults handcuffed people, earns between $87,449 to $101,058.
A so-called ‘1st Class’ Senior Constable like Benjamin Bowey, who gives exorbitant fake fines to people who have demonstrably done nothing wrong, earns between $90,170 to $103,779.
A Sergeant/Senior Sergeant, like the slithering little creep who tempts fate by screaming unannounced at Hindley Street doormen “SHOW ME YOUR LICENSE!!!”, instead of introducing himself and asking in a civil manner to view their security licenses, earns between $106,077 and $126,094.
Whichever way you look at it, that’s excellent recompense for strutting around all day acting like a bully and menacing the public instead of protecting them.
Yes, sometimes police have to take time out from flexing and bullying and actually engage in high-risk activities, but what did they think they were joining the police force for?
“Oh, but we have to deal with people on ice, and with knives, and scary neck tattoos!”
So why the increasingly predatory police attitude towards unarmed, drug-free people, if there are so many more violent drug addicts on the streets, as these officers claim?
Is it because it is safer and more lucrative to pick on easy targets, like lone motorists?
Many police officers display a clear antipathy to the law-abiding general public. They’ll never admit it, but they view the public as pains-in-the-ass that stand in the way of a hassle-free cruise to the end of their shift.
Our sympathies, therefore, lie with the public.
SAPOL Are Mostly Useless
If you’ve had to report a crime to SAPOL in the last several years, there’s a strong chance you were ignored, told they were too busy or even rudely berated for having the cheek to ask police to do the job they are paid to do.
If you check Google reviews, you’ll see South Australian Police stations attract a huge number of poor reviews. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the Holden Hill Police Complex, where the staff do indeed appear to suffer a massive complex. The reason we single out Holden Hill is because their officers have plenty of time to cruise up and down North East Road, making the perilous arterial even more dangerous by creating nasty bottle necks every time they pull someone over for an alleged traffic ‘infringement’. They could easily direct these allegedly errant motorists off the busy road and into one of the many quieter side streets, but no, turning three lanes of traffic into two lanes of chaos is apparently the best road safety strategy the brains trust at SAPOL can come up with.
Little wonder the road toll’s multi-decade decline has stalled during the last decade and has been steadily rising over the last several years. Deaths on SA roads so far this year are more than double when compared to the same time in 2022.
SAPOL is a massive road safety failure, and its Holden Hill officers are a striking demonstration of why.
It’s no secret that one of SAPOL’s main functions is to act as a revenue-raising arm of government. So important is this function, that cops who fail to perform their fund-raising duties with sufficient enthusiasm are castigated by their superiors.
Here’s a 2011 email from Holden Hill Senior Sergeant Andrew McCracken to patrol officers, ordering them to meet quotas for the number of arrests, drink driving reports, traffic and drug offences in a five-week ‘blitz’.
McCracken warned: “Those who cannot or choose not to reach these benchmarks will need to provide an explanation to their sergeant and me.”
“As stated, though, this is not hard and easily able to be reached and maintained – 99 per cent of you will have no difficulty reaching the standard and blitzing it.”
So McCracken admits preying on motorists to meet fine quotas is “not hard and easily able to be reached and maintained”.
But what happens when you contact Holden Hill police station for help with a real crime?
Take a look:
Overstaffed With Nasty, Vindictive Goons
Despite its perpetual moaning about being understaffed, SAPOL always finds the resources required to harass, bully and maliciously prosecute those who fight SAPOL’s malfeasance or highlight the organisation’s sickening corruption.
A lucid example is Brian Stanton, a former criminal who decided to go straight. As part of his newfound commitment to doing the right thing, Stanton alerted police to a vast drug, theft and prostitution operation in the state’s south east.
He would later describe it as the dumbest thing he’d ever done, because he didn’t realize at the time SAPOL officers were working in conjunction with the perpetrators. He promptly became a SAPOL target, and was framed by bent cops who planted a firearm in his car. What ensued was a four-year legal nightmare before he was finally acquitted.
When Today Tonight investigated the allegations, they spoke to a neighbouring property owner, who says that when she reported suspicious behaviour on the property to police, she also became the target of harassment. Suspicions of police involvement were promptly confirmed when Today Tonight approached the property, only for police to quickly arrive and inexplicably confiscate the Channel 7 cameras.
The Today Tonight episodes detailing this incredible saga are available at the following links:
In addition to its government-mandated fund-raising, SAPOL finds plenty of time to engage in unofficial means of revenue generation. SAPOL has long played a central role in the South Australian drug trade, although it has been forced to become a little less brazen than the good ol’ days when drug squad officers sold drugs directly to university students (no middleman deemed necessary, such was their audacity) and drug squad chief Barry Moyse was dumb enough to get caught on camera by the NCA personally visiting one of his drug crops.
You’d almost think SAPOL were on the criminals’ side. Actually … they are criminals.
SAPOL and the Sex Industry
SAPOL also has an intimate (no pun intended) involvement with the prostitution industry, which has long been illegal in South Australia. Curiously, everyone in Adelaide knows where at least one brothel is located, because they are often situated on busy roads and everyone who passes by knows full well what kind of ‘business’ is conducted inside. Yet we are expected to believe the police, with all their detectives, informants and so-called intel, are truly unaware of these establishments?
The police are well aware of these brothels, because they extort each and every one. Failure to pay the ‘SAPOL tax’ will result in raids, arrests and other forms of harassment that will ultimately force the business to close.
This is why, when calls to decriminalize prostitution intensified a few years back, SAPOL was the quickest and loudest to object. The reasoning given by Grant Stevens was that decriminalizing brothels would attract “organised criminals”.
But prostitution in South Australia is already under the control of an organised crime group: SAPOL.
The real reason behind SAPOL’s objection was that it was in no mood to lose a lucrative income stream. The officers involved in this racket were no doubt further upset at the possibility of losing the free sexual ‘perks’ involved (i.e. prostitutes forced to provide sexual services to these filthy officers).
So annoyed were SAPOL, they began harassing brothels in order to send a “back off” message. Sex Industry Network general manager Kat Morrison said the “heavy-handed” policing started after a sex work decriminalisation bill passed the Legislative Council in 2017.
“Potentially SAPOL are worried,” said Morrison. “They are potentially worried that the decriminalisation bill is going to pass through Parliament, and that they’re going to be stripped of some of the power that they currently have as gatekeepers of the sex industry.”
The author of the anonymous letter is to be commended for taking some sort of stance, unlike most of his spineless colleagues. His primary concern, however, seems to be the effect of SAPOL’s deteriorating environment on officer morale and well-being.
In reality, the real victims are the the unfortunate public whose taxes fund this disgrace of a police force. The public has had to suffer both increasing harassment, revenue-raising and disinterest in real crime – a situation that became visibly worse during the COVID-19 saga.
South Australia Police is a corrupt abomination, and always has been. However, there is no disputing SAPOL’s disinterest in fighting real crime has intensified under the non-leadership of Grant Stevens, whose main concerns would appear to be suppressing criticism of SAPOL, enforcing COVID tyranny as de facto leader of South Australia, and helping implement the dystopian Smart Cities agenda.
That is why he has recently been rewarded with another 5 years as role of commissioner despite widespread dissatisfaction with his performance from within the force.
South Australians deserve better. Much better.
From the Itinerary of Grant Stevens’ 2016 Overseas Trip:
In 2016, Grant Stevens traveled to the UK under the guise of accompanying the SA Police Band for a royal performance. The trip attracted criticism after Steven’s wife posted photos on social media of the couple attending tourist attractions and breweries at taxpayer expense. What has gone largely unnoticed is that on the way back to Australia, Stevens stopped in Singapore for a briefing on the dubious ‘Smart City’ agenda, the plan to herd us all into heavily-monitored ’15-minute cities’.