New South Wales Crime Commission

New South Wales Crime Commission
New South Wales Crime Commission
Common name NSW Crime Commission
Abbreviation NSWCC
Logo of the New South Wales Crime Commission.
Agency overview
Formed January 20, 1986
Preceding agency State Drug Crime Commission
Employees 150
Annual budget $16,000,000
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of New South Wales, Australia
Constituting instrument New South Wales Crime Commission Act 1985
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 453 - 463 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Minister responsible Mike Gallacher, New South Wales Minister for Police
Agency executive Phillip Bradley, Commissioner
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The New South Wales Crime Commission is an Australian statutory corporation with the main objectives of reducing the occurrence of illegal drug trafficking and organised crime in New South Wales. In more recent years, the commission has also taken on a charter of assisting with the investigation of terrorism related offences. However, it has become the subject of long-term controversy and concern over questionable covert operations, secrecy and absence of defined accountability, culminating in conviction of an assistant director for serious criminal activities.



The commission was established pursuant to the New South Wales Crime Commission Act of 1985, initially the State Drug Crime Commission Act introduced by then state premier, Neville Wran[1] after a period of seminal Royal Commissions, including the Woodward Royal Commission (1977–1979) and the Costigan Royal Commission (1980–1984) into drug trafficking, organised crime and tax evasion.

The first chairman of the State Drug Crime Commission (SDCC) was Judge John Lloyd-Jones, who was replaced after only four weeks following objection by the legal fraternity to the principle of a judicial officer's presiding over an investigative body. Richard Job, QC succeeded Lloyd-Jones as chairman, and the SDCC sat as a management committee, led by Job together with Barry Thorley, a former judge, and a retired vice-admiral, David Leach.[1]

Phillip Bradley was appointed commissioner in 1989 and became chairman in 1983.[1] In the period leading up to the 2011 state election, the commission attracted significant public criticism over its practices.[1] In February 2011, Bradley launched legal action against the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) after it was revealed that the PIC planned to hold a public inquiry into the NSWCC. The nature of the investigations conducted by the PIC related to the way the NSW Crime Commission managed its asset-confiscation powers. PIC investigations revealed that the commission and lawyers acting for alleged and convicted criminals negotiated legal costs, sometimes in an an extremely short timeframe.[2] To defend its position, the commission took the matter to the Supreme Court,[3] The controversy expanded as the commission was accused of undermining free speech by demanding records and phones from Fairfax journalists.[4][5] With the matter still before the court, on 6 May 2011 the New South Wales Government extended the employment contract of Bradley for a further six months.[6][7] On 17 May 2011, The court dismissed the commission's application, giving the go-ahead to the Police Integrity Commission to conduct a public inquiry into whether the Crime Commission acted outside the laws that govern the confiscation of criminal proceeds, and whether it had abused some of the processes of the court.[8][9][10]

Conviction of assistant director

On 11th August 2011, after a five-month trial, a NSW Supreme Court jury found powerful former NSWCC assistant director Mark Standen guilty of conspiring to import and supply 300 kilograms of pseudoephedrine, a chemical that could produce $60 million worth of "ice", or crystal methamphetamine. He was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.[11] In a 30-year career, Standen had risen to prominence in the perceived fight against organised crime in New South Wales, trusted by ministers and police commissioners. He had been arrested by the Australian Federal Police on 2 June 2008[12] after intensive surveillance and investigation.


The Board of the New South Wales Crime Commission consists of:[1]


The New South Wales Crime Commission works closely with the NSW Police Force.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Besser, Linton; Welch, Dylan (12 February 2011). "The commission that is a law unto itself". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Besser, Linton (14 February 2011). "Seized criminal assets go on legal costs". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Jacobsen, Geesche (23 February 2011). "Anti-crime bodies at war over inquiry". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "NSW Crime Commission demands Fairfax phones". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 18 February 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Protection for journalists" (transcript). Media Watch (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 11 April 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Welch, Dylan; Besser, Linton (6 May 2011). "Six more months for secret crime body's boss". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "NSW Crime Commission boss to step down". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 6 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Davies, Lisa (18 May 2011). "NSW Crime Commission laid bare in new PIC inquiry". The Daily Telegraph (News Limited). Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Besser, Linton; Welch, Dylan (18 May 2011). "Secretive crime commission to be called to account". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Griffiths, Meredith (18 May 2011). "NSW Crime Commission to face inquiry". PM (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  11. ^ Marian Wilkinson Standen: The Inside Man at ABC Four Corners 15 August 2011
  12. ^ Lisa Davies Top cop Mark Standen found guilty Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 11 August 2011

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