About 20 years ago Australia was captivated and appalled by the secret footage of a bunch of senior Sydney police openly talking about taking bribes and collaborating with drug dealers in the crooked Kings Cross command.
Coppers such as Detective Graham “Chook” Fowler and his sidekick Inspector Trevor Haken became household names. Secret cameras caught police receiving cash kickbacks worth thousands of dollars, often stuffed into boots. “Hooley f…ing dooley,” a crooked copper was heard saying on one of the tapes, “I didn’t know you could get so much into an RM Williams.”
The revelations forced the NSW police royal commission and prompted other states to examine their police forces to make sure no such corruption existed there. In SA there was no such inquiry as the police had just undergone a thorough anti-corruption investigation, Operation Hygiene, in which one copper was busted for stealing a punnet of strawberries, another for pinching a bag of potting mix. To paraphrase the great journalist and author Cyril Pearl, one day someone will write the full story of Australian roguery, and every state will play a part, but undoubtedly NSW will steal the show.
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