When the whistle is blown

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  • Published 20090602
  • ISBN: 9780733323959
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

IT WAS EARLY 1996, and getting late in the evening. Somewhere in a nondescript building in central Canberra, I was prowling a largely empty open-plan office, killing time while an Australian Federal Police investigator and I waited for yet another police officer to come off the late shift, somewhere across town, and make his way to us for a confidential interview.

My job, as a young lawyer in the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office, was simply to ‘sit in’ on the interviews as the police tried to resolve some complex allegations. A junior police whistleblower – let’s call him Constable Tim – was claiming he had been harassed by colleagues after he told AFP Internal Security about serious misconduct in another part of the force. The misconduct was proven, and action taken. But since then, life for the constable had not gone smoothly.

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