Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cop spills all on West Australian police

SEXIST, racist and trigger happy. A former police officer has written a graphic account of life as a Perth cop in a new book that claims to blow the whistle on what really goes on behind the blue line.

The book, written under the pseudonym "Officer A" and called The Crime Factory, details several years the author spent in the WA Police after coming over in 2006 as part of a recruitment drive to lure British cops.

The book contains accusations of racism, brutality, bullying and binge drinking.

"Policing in Western Oz was like policing in the 1970s in the UK, but more violent, racist and sexist, and the cops had free use of guns and Tasers," it said.

Officer A, who worked in WA until early 2008, said local cops were trigger happy especially when it came to Tasers.

The chapter about his arrival in Perth is called: "Welcome to Hell". "I'd quickly learnt that in Australia you were much more likely to be shot dead by a cop than get eaten by a shark," he said.

"A significant minority of officers tasered anybody that pissed them off, which was usually anyone with a different skin colour. "I saw two officers attack a pair of harmless sailors. They were a bit drunk but were completely inoffensive."

He also recounts how his then wife who also came over to work in the force was sent out to execute an arrest warrant on a potentially violent criminal just moments after she told her manager she was pregnant.

The book alleges senior police made it clear the recruits were just a "doctor's quick fix". "The local cops hated us," the author says.

The book traces Officer A's career in WA, starting out at a suburban police station before winning a transfer to a secretive intelligence division as a "covert officer" rounding up informants to take out the "baddest guys in the country".

He resigned in 2008 following an incident at a Perth pub, where he says a drunken officer verbally abused him, then returned to Britain to work for the Surrey police force.

A WA Police spokesman said: "The claims in the book about policing in WA are hard to fathom and probably say more about the author than they do about WA Police. "There is nothing in the book that gives WA Police any concern."

He said that between 2006 and 2009, 657 overseas officers were recruited in a "highly successful international recruitment campaign". Just over a quarter of those recruits have since quit.

Last night, The Sunday Times spoke with the author of The Crime Factory who admitted to having a nervous breakdown after his return to the UK which he claims insiders were trying to use to discredit his book.

The breakdown led to a 2010 incident in which he made a drunken phone call from his police station to a colleague claiming that he was going to shoot himself. It caused the station to be stormed by police.

He was fined 500 pounds, but the court heard that during his police career he had won several awards. "I had a breakdown," he said. "It happens. Prior to that I had an excellent service record."

He said the book had been a steady seller.

Original report here. (Via Australian police news)

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