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"There is no Police corruption in Victoria." "Victoria has the finest Police force anywhere", and similar quotes are common in the Victorian mainstream media. While in Victoria, the newspapers don't mind admitting that there is something rotten about the Police forces in other Australian states such as New South Wales and Queensland, they refuse to admit to even the slightest corruption in this state. It seems that once one crosses the Murray River at Albury, the Police suddenly become holier than the Vatican (as the saying goes). While it is absurd to expect all 10,000 odd uniformed Police in Victoria to be incapable of doing wrong, this is the very line being peddled by the Victoria Police and their allies in the mainstream media. In spite of the senseless shooting of over 30 civilians in recent years, many of whom were unarmed, a total of which is the same as all other Australian Police forces combined, not once has the Police Commissioner or his expensive media unit said "our officer made a mistake", "our man made an error of judgement", "we are only human" or anything similar. Every time another civilian has their brains blasted out by the Police or someone elsewhere alleges misconduct in the Victoria Police, the media and Police attacks their critics with all means available. To criticise the Police force - no matter how constructive the criticism is, is automatically treated as treason. Recent (1994-8) examples of Police misconduct and/or corruption in Victoria include the following cases:-

  • Victoria is by the admission of Police themselves, now the illegal drugs capital of Australia. Whistleblowers Mick Skrijel, Peter McCartney and others recently gave evidence (and proof) at a drugs inquiry that the Victorian Police were the main dealers in Melbourne. Their evidence was not reported by the media, even though their reporters were in attendance.
  • King Street Melbourne, is now one of the most violent and dangerous places to go out in all of Australia. Assaults are a daily occurrence. In many parts of Melbourne, the streets are now unsafe. Recently 11 off-duty Police were allegedly involved in a brawl at the "Public Bar" in Victoria Street, North Melbourne.
  • A Police Whistleblower, Constable Karl Konrad, tells of entrenched corruption within his own Police force and alleges widespread corruption involving smashing windows and other matters, involving over a hundred fellow officers. He is no longer actively employed by the Victoria Police. He was recently fined $1,000 by his department after making comments about the Police to the media without authorisation from senior Police Management.
  • A senior Internal Investigations Department (IID) Official (Tom McGrath) confirms entrenched Police corruption and a "brotherhood". Another officer, Inspector Barbara Oldfield made similar and even more damning statements about corruption in the Victoria Police (transcript of her conversation is in The Hoser Files, 322 pp.). The media refuse to report the Oldfield allegations on the basis that they are "too hot to handle".
  • A recent inquiry ("Operation Bart") uncovers a scam whereby at least twelve corrupt Police allegedly turn a blind eye to crimes by Panel Beaters and Tow Truck Drivers in return for secret repairs to Police cars smashed up when being improperly used, in order to prevent the officers being charged or disciplined.
  • The state's road toll for the first time in some years is now on the rise. A disproportionate number of crashes involve Police officers that have drunk excessive alcohol.
  • Six Police in one car recently smashed the car outside Knox shopping centre on a Friday night, with the driver over the legal alcohol limit and another officer going to hospital and lying about how he'd got his injuries. He'd falsely claimed assault.
  • Another Police officer, (Terrence Olsen) kills a young pushbike rider on New Year's day, by running him over when drink driving after a party and then attempting to hide his crime by self repairing his own car to hide the damage. He is then allowed to retire from the force on full benefits.
  • Yet another Police officer (Grant McPhie) kills himself after driving at least 163 kmh in an 80 km zone, while having a blood alcohol level over three times the legal limit. Scores of other Police officers crash cars while drunk.
  • Police attempt to suppress an internal report that documents excessive drinking of alcohol as a major problem in the Victoria Police. It was leaked by a whistleblower.
  • An Assistant Commissioner (Brian Church) recently refuses to allow journalists from the 7.30 report to ask him questions at a press conference, because he is worried about potentially adverse criticism or exposure. Previously he allegedly "pulled" an ABC documentary about Police violence in the Flemington/Ascot Vale area of inner Melbourne.
  • A book the Police have attempted to suppress (The Hoser Files, 322 pp.), details repeated cases of bashings, thefts, perjury, court fixing, cover-ups and other misconduct in the local Police, as well as gross failures of the Victorian Ombudsman's Office to act on proof of Police and other public service corruption. This book is the single biggest expose' of corruption in Victoria's history and yet the mainstream media have black-banned the it (see below).
  • A key witness into a Police corruption inquiry, Mr. Tony Rossi was allegedly set-up by Police and improperly jailed for three months, while the Sergeant (Beardsley) who was the subject of the investigation was allowed to retire from the force with a $240,000 pay out. Rossi was then jailed on falsified charges. He later cleared his name and was aquitted.
  • Large amounts of cash handed in to Police Stations by members of the public have been stolen by Police. This includes $7,500 recently handed in by a taxi driver to Sunshine Police station that Police allegedly took. The Police department covered the losses through it's general budgetary process allowing the thief to escape with the cash.
  • Police suppressed from the public information alleging a computer fraud in it's own department that may have resulted in up to a million dollars on losses.
  • Police refuse to hand over investigations of Police to an independent authority, insisting on the use of a Police Internal Investigations Section to do such work under the benevolent guidance of the State Ombudsman's Office, which also relies on Police to do most investigative work, even after the Queensland Fitzgerald report and NSW Wood Royal Commission Interim Report noted that such a complaints mechanism failed to work effectively.
  • Police reject repeated calls from a wide range of Political and community groups, including Whistleblowers, Lawwatch, Coalition Against Police Violence, Victims of Crime League, Australian Council For Civil Liberties, Australian Civil Liberties Union and others for a Royal Commission, even though if they had nothing to hide, then they should have nothing to fear from such an inquiry. Furthermore they would be expected to welcome such an opportunity to show potential critics that all is well within the force if in fact no corruption existed.
  • The editor of the Sunday-Herald Sun, Alan Howe gagged a senior journalist from the same paper, Fia Cumming, from discussing The Hoser Files and Police corruption on the Couchman radio programme on 17th January this year. The editor of the Herald-Sun spoke to Couchman the night before the interview was to go to air and attempted to kill the story.
  • It is leaked to the media that unnamed Police stole files from the St. Kilda Road Police Complex relating to a drug racket involving senior Police. The theft was an inside job, having been done by corrupt Police. Rather than attempting to identify the perpetrators of the theft and bringing them to account, senior Police go on a witch-hunt to find the person who leaked the information to the media.
  • Police rent-a-witness David Winduss is found guilty of being a child molester and sent to prison. It is alleged that Winduss had been allowed to get away with illegal activities for years by Police as he was their man.
  • The Ombudsman's Office and Police are revealed to have with-held information from the public about Police involvement in peadophile rings and other related illegal activity
  • Police refuse to charge Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett with a series of criminal and other offences, including assaulting journalists by Shovelling dirt on them (and then challenging them to charge him), contempt of court, and driving at 143 kmh in a 100 kmh zone (which for any other person would result in automatic licence loss and an appearance in court due to the seriousnessness of the offence).
  • Police refuse to name the over 100 officers involved in shutter scams, tow truck rackets and other illegal activity. Most are allowed to remain in the force without penalty, while the grand total of four are removed from the force. The Police refuse to name either those removed from the force and/or those corrupt 96 officers (at least) who remain. This allows these officers to falsify charges against other persons without fear of being identified by potential defendants as corrupt.

In other words, the Police force in Victoria is in a total mess and the public is literally being held to ransom. In late 1995 I published the book The Hoser Files - The Fight Against Entrenched Official Corruption. As already stated, thebook detailed corruption in the Victorian Police force, taxi industry, legal system and elsewhere in a manner like no other book in Australian history. THE BOOK THE POLICE TRIED TO STOP BEING PUBLISHEDBecause almost the entire book is based on tapes, transcripts and the government's own material, the contents of the book cannot be denied. Thus although the book names (and has pictures of some) corrupt Judges, Magistrates, Police, Politicians, Public servants, lawyers and others, not one has yet sued me for defamation. (Brian Church is on the record as stating that he was diverting Police resources into the investigation of the possibility of successfully suing Hoser over the book, even though the Victoria Police department is legally bound and cannot sue for defamation). They, meaning those adversely named, can't sue for defamation, as all the material is true and correct and it is in the public interest to be published. This is in theory anyway.

Instead there has been a deliberate campaign of suppression of the book. In spite of a massive publicity campaign for the book, not one single mainstream paper or Television network said a word about the book. A Vicroads lawyer documented in the book as corrupt, Mr. John Connell, Kevin Loomes of the Police media unit, a Member of State Parliament Mr. Victor Perton (who is on the public record as having previously lied), and others went out of their way to kill the story. All these people took it upon themselves to kill any publicity for The Hoser Files, before it even started. All contacted newspapers and other media outlets to make sure not a word about the book was run. Their key tactics were an attempted character assassination of myself, usually involving false and defamatory accusations about myself. Perton in particular has taken it upon himself to lead the charge of false and defamatory statements against Hoser, including making repeated and harassing calls to a lawyer in Sydney and his staff in a bid to stop Hoser's books from getting publicity. He also lied about Hoser on Melbourne radio when he made a number of false and derogatory remarks about him. (Perton also (apparently illegally) arranged for Hoser's internet sites with Starway Corporation to be wiped on 22nd November 1996).

To kill The Hoser Files as a public story wasn't hard as both the Herald-Sun and The Age have been pro Police (read anti-exposing corruption) for some time. A former solicitor for the Herald-Sun had now been appointed as a Supreme Court Judge, and because The Hoser Files detailed corruption in that court, the book wasn't to be given support. The editor of The Age, had a relative in the Police media unit, so the conflict of interest there was obvious. Because I had directly sold large numbers of The Hoser Files, besides what had gone through the book trade, many people attempted to get the story of the book into the media. All were told it was black-banned.

In September 1995, a lady, Connie Cassar, entered a court room where I was fighting false Police charges. She was promptly grabbed by Police mistakenly thinking she was with me. (I hadn't known her at the time). Police carted her off and then bashed her, before charging her with multiple counts of assault. She weighed about 7 stone and was about 5' 2", and Police claimed she assaulted a whole heap of them! Besides the fact that they were apparently unhurt and she had to go to hospital after the attack, Police pursued Cassar with more determination than Australia's most wanted. That case was heard at Melbourne Magistrate's Court in February this year. Cassar had lost the case before it started. The Magistrate hearing the case was Raff Barabario, a man with more form than a racehorse. He refused to allow anyone to tape the case, including rejecting repeated calls by Cassar for an official court recorder to do the job AT HER COST. Barbario didn't want independent scrutiny of the case or his "finding" to be able to be questioned. Also, by preventing a transcript being obtained, perjury by Police could not be actioned.

Victoria's Courts have many corrupt Magistrates.

Cassar was able to cite perjury by various Police, including indicating that an alleged wound on a Policeman was most probably self-inflicted. Another alleged Police witness, a senior officer, was demonstrated not to have been present at the time of the alleged assaults. Furthermore Police conveniently failed to produce video surveillance film of Cassar that was taken at the court (you see that too showed her innocence). Barbario convicted and fined Cassar $750 plus costs and she now intends appealing the matter.

The significance in the story is that when Herald-Sun journalist Anita Quigley decided to run the story of the Cassar bashing, she made it clear the name Hoser, or The Hoser Files was not to be used - it was black-banned. And so it was. On an almost daily basis, the Herald-Sun runs stories and editorials that are so pro-police in terms of bias (Pro-police here meaning pro-police corruption, cover-ups, etc), that they invite response from those who view things differently or with a more balanced viewpoint. And yes, on an almost daily basis the paper has been flooded with letters calling for Royal Commissions, inquiries, and so on. Few of these get published. Those that do are always heavily edited, with all references to The Hoser Files deleted. This has happened several times. A recent example being a letter to The Herald-Sun by Keith Potter of Whistleblowers with the centrepiece of his letter, referencing The Hoser Files, edited out under the guidance of letters editor David Aldridge. Perhaps even more damning is the treatment of The Sunday Herald-Sun of one of it's own journalists. Fia Cumming, one of Australia's most respected Political and investigative journalists wrote a series of stories relating to The Hoser Files, Police corruption and so on. Some were actually pulled, just before being printed. The result, not a word was run. She was later approached to appear on ABC radio to discuss the book, Police corruption and so on, before her editor, Alan Howe faxed her, telling her not to go on. This was yet another attempt to kill the story of The Hoser Files, lest the rat get out of the bag. Couchman mentioned this "pulling" of Fia Cumming on his show, and later made further inquiries with the Herald-Sun editors about it. They denied having sent such a fax, blaming Fia herself for withdrawing from the radio broadcast. The clear implication being that either Fia had lost her cool or The Hoser Files wasn't worthy of such comment. Of course Couchman had been lied to. I have both the fax from Alan Howe and the tapes of Couchman's conversations with me (dated 17th and 31st January 1996). Cumming's employment with the paper was terminated shortly after this incident. In other words the Police and their allies in the media were not just ignoring The Hoser Files, but rather going out of their way to kill the story. So far they've succeeded. The question then begs. What have these people got to hide? If you've read The Hoser Files, you'll know what they are hiding. Besides detailing Police corruption, the book details corruption throughout the legal system, bureaucracy and elsewhere.

The ramifications of what is in this book is perhaps far wider than the scope of the present NSW Police Royal Commission, which so far has been pretty much confined to just Police corruption. I cannot say that the corruption within The Hoser Files is unique to Victoria. It is almost certain that similar corruption exists in other Australian states. It is just that The Hoser Files represents perhaps the first expose of the corrupt Policing and legal system at work and their various interfaces. In order to kill The Hoser Files and my credibility, the Victorian Taxi Directorate cancelled my source of income, namely my taxi driving licence. They have since illegally banned and seized copies of a taxi industry magazine that had an article backing the Hoser Files and detailing further government corruption. This illegal action now threatens to put a number of small businesses out of business, most of whom had no connection with any of this, other than advertising in the magazine (some spending thousands of dollars), etc.

These actions were clearly in retribution for publishing the book about corruption. However Terry O'Keefe, head of the Taxi Directorate (and adversely named in The Hoser Files) may have done himself a disservice in cancelling my taxi driving licence. Forced to earn an income to A/ Survive and B/ Attempt to promote The Hoser Files, I took to doorknocking businesses and houses to sell the book. As author of four books, including Smuggled - The Underground Trade in Australia's Wildlife, I have never been forced to do this before, (my first three titles sold their first print runs). Within a matter of a few week's spruiking I sold over 1,000 books earning more than I would have by driving a taxi anyway. You see, there is a vast number of people out there who know or suspect what corruption is going on, but who just don't know where to get the information. More importantly however, over 5000 Victorians have now become aware of the corruption within their state and the concerted media campaign to suppress knowledge of it. The Hoser Files and knowledge of it's contents (corruption in Victoria) is probably now reaching such a critical mass that the mainstream media will find it increasingly hard to ignore in future. Stay tuned and watch for the next bombshell - The Commission of Inquiry into the Victorian Police, Judiciary and Public Service. We're hoping anyway! ************************************************************

PS. I forgot to mention what happened before The Hoser Files came out. On February 18th, 1994, Police (armed with a search warrant) raided my house, emptied my filing cabinets, stole all disks, computer, printer, tapes, etc, in a bid to stop me publishing the book. Most material was not returned and material such as disks and the computer (which were returned) were damaged beyond repair. Fortunately I had back-ups of most things. Then prior to publication a number of major book printing outfits were told by Police officers not to print the book. They buckled under the Police pressure. Finally, and after much unnecessary legwork, the book was secretly printed by someone friendly to the cause of exposing corruption. It makes Australia sound a bit like eastern Europe under communism, doesn't it!

Hoser set to be jailed for publishing the truth - click here for details


The Hoser Files - The Fight Against Entrenched Official Corruption ($25 inc. postage), Victoria Police Corruption - Hoser Files 2 ($35 inc. postage) and More Victoria Police Corruption ($35 inc. postage) are full of details, including, names, photos, etc. To order,


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