NSW cops posted in NY, London to track down crooks
Senior NSW police officers are to be posted overseas to hunt down criminals targeting the state for drugs and weapons smuggling and even potential terrorist acts.
Both the government and NSW Police believe they now need to have their own officers on the frontline to identify crime syndicates with an increasing number being run by Sydney criminals who have fled overseas.
The proposal by NSW Police is to station the first two officers in London and New York for a trial period of 12 months before expanding elsewhere in Europe and Asia.
"Crime in the 21st century knows no borders - NSW Police are increasingly tackling transnational crimes like internet fraud, child sex exploitation, drug trafficking, piracy and terrorism," Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said on Sunday.
"The safety of the community is our No. 1 priority and we will stop at nothing to ensure we have a police force that is modern, responsive and adaptive to crimes that harm our citizens, no matter where they occur.
"The NSW government is backing this proposal all the way - when criminals innovate and adapt to a changing environment, so must our policing."
At the moment only the Australian Federal Police has officers overseas.
The New York Police Department has officers based all over the world, including in Sydney, who are separate from the agencies like the Drug Enforcement Agency and FBI.
Commissioner Mick Fuller has made no secret he wants to track down and bring back to Australia criminals who have fled overseas because they are either wanted here or because of the attention from strike forces such as Raptor which have made it too difficult for them to operate.
Bikies such as Comanchero Mark Buddle and Hells Angel boss Angelo Pandeli are two prime examples.
"When it comes to international criminal or terrorist investigations, we can be hampered by issues of time, geography and information sharing," Mr Fuller said on Sunday.
"This is a strategy I developed to enhance the capability of NSWPF to protect the citizens of NSW and I have been working behind the scenes for the past three years to develop this proposal."
Mr Fuller and Mr Elliott said officers would continue to work with Australian Federal Police as they always have but would now be able to look at targets the AFP does not have the time or resources to handle.
"The plan is to have officers located at key metropolitan centres in the northern hemisphere to ensure NSW Police Force can access information from a variety of sources in real time to undermine transnational organised crime and terrorist networks," Mr Fuller said. "It's an innovative proposal to respond to crime in a global context. The rules have changed. Criminal networks cross borders and we can't afford to be complacent to look after our communities."