Category Archives: Feature

Spotlight on organisational culture and police mental health (part 1)

In these series of articles, we are taking a close look at the issues plaguing the police agencies in Australia. The people and policies that maintain the status quo at and the ugly stranglehold of mental health stigma. Being in the police is a very stressful job so it’s understandable that these pressures get to officers. However, due to the stigma around mental health, only some officers are getting help through products like CBD (visit for more information) and through counseling. Everyone reacts differently to the pressures of the job so it’s important to have a system that is flexible for whoever needs help, whichever way they want it. Note: parts of this article may be distressing to some readers.

Continue reading Spotlight on organisational culture and police mental health (part 1)

Sergeant Marina Gyfteas presented with the Breavington Award

Victoria Police Sergeant Marina Gyfteas is one of the most respected police officers in Melbourne’s north and while she has had many achievements over the years, she dislikes the fuss around the recognition, shrugging it off with ‘it’s what I’m paid to do, no big deal’. However, her friends and colleagues say that the award was thoroughly deserved and long overdue. Continue reading Sergeant Marina Gyfteas presented with the Breavington Award

Phishing: Safeguarding Yourself and Your Organisation’s Sensitive Data


Phishing is a type of social engineering, a way of getting into your private network that relies more on psychology and deception than traditional hacking that involves exploiting vulnerabilities in your security software. You can find a good introduction to phishing and social engineering on Wikipedia. If you need assistance with protecting your organization from nefarious phishing attacks, you could use the cyber security expertise of someone like Digital Defense. Continue reading Phishing: Safeguarding Yourself and Your Organisation’s Sensitive Data

Three Supplemental Treatments for Recovery from a Suicide Attempt

Guest writer Steve Johnson discusses three approaches to aid in recovery from a suicide attempt and help improve mental wellness.

Recovery from a suicide attempt is a process that requires many facets of treatment. You could try holistic healing such as that which can be found at Of course, most important is a good counselor and possibly a support group. No treatment plan can replace the value of a well-trained counselor. Continue reading Three Supplemental Treatments for Recovery from a Suicide Attempt

Remembering Victoria Police Russell Street Headquarters Bombing

On March 27th, 1986 and one day before Good Friday, at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, Constable Angela Taylor left the Russell Street Police Complex in Melbourne to get lunch, but never returned. As Constable Taylor was crossing Russel street, a vehicle packed with gelignite exploded. The events that unfolded later also claimed the life of Detective Sergeant Mark Wylie.


The explosion was caused by a car bomb hidden in a stolen 1979 Holden Commodore. The blast seriously injured 21-year-old Constable Angela Taylor, who died 24 days later on 20 April, becoming the first Australian female officer to be killed in the line of duty. 22 other people were injured, many still carrying physical and psychological scars to this day.

The explosion caused massive amounts of damage to the police HQ and surrounding buildings, estimated at more than A$1 million. A newspaper, The Age, reported that the blast had had such an impact because the open-floor design of the offices had acted like a Claymore mine, sending more shrapnel as the blast ripped through the floors, seemingly adding more pressure to the blast as it followed its path.

Russel St and La Trobe St
Russel St and La Trobe St – Google Maps

Investigation and Trial

In the course of the investigation, a group of people including Craig Minogue, Rodney Minogue, Stan Taylor, and Peter Reed were apprehended. The motive for the bombing seems to have been revenge against the police, as the bombers had previously been arrested and still ‘resented their jail terms’. In court, Taylor, Reed and Craig Minogue were convicted; Rodney Minogue was eventually acquitted on appeal.

On 7 October 1985, gelignite and detonators were stolen from the Tryconnel Mine at Blackwood. On 25 March 1986, a Holden Commodore was stolen. Both crimes were later found to provide equipment needed for the construction of the bomb.

On 25 April 1986, ten Victoria Police officers raided the Kallista home of Peter Michael Reed at 5.45 am. It was alleged that upon attempting to enforce the arrest by forcing entry to the premises, Reed produced a .455 Smith & Wesson revolver and fired at police, seriously injuring Detective Sergeant Wylie. Shot through the chest, Wylie nearly died at the scene and again on the operating table, but his elite fitness and stubbornness helped him defy the odds. Reed was then fired upon by Detective Sergeant Quinsee and arrested.

Reed was charged with attempted murder, recklessly causing serious injury, using a firearm to prevent apprehension and possessing explosives in suspicious circumstances in addition to charges related to the Russell Street bombing.

The Crown did not allege that any person played any particular role in the bombing, but that each of them were members of a team which planned the bombing and caused the bomb to explode. Evidence against the accused was as follows:

  • Gelignite and detonators used in the construction of the bomb were of the same type as those stolen from Tryconnel Mine.
  • Gelignite was found at Reed’s house wrapped in newspaper containing fingerprints belonging to Rodney Minogue.
  • Craig Minogue owned a pair of side cutters which produced cuts similar to those found on detonator wires.
  • a file with traces of brass deposits matched with brass deposits found at the bomb site.
  • a block of wood from which a wooden part of the bomb had been sawn was found at Craig Minogue’s premises.
  • tinned copper wire, similar to that used with detonators found at the bomb site, was found at Craig Minogue’s premises.
  • residue of gelignite matched residue found at a previous address of Craig Minogue in Lower Templestowe.
  • evidence from a witness that Craig Minogue called around Easter 1986, to ask about the use of detonators.
  • a witness testified that Craig Minogue was seen driving a 1979 Holden Commodore around the CBD prior to the explosion.

Stanley Brian Taylor and Craig William Minogue were ultimately convicted of the murder of Angela Taylor and other armed robberies and sentenced to life. Peter Michael Reed was acquitted of the bombing but sentenced to 12 years for armed robberies.

Detective Sergeant Mark Wylie could not cope with psychological injuries and took his own life in 2014.

In 1995, police headquarters moved to the Victoria Police Centre with the old headquarters many years later redeveloped into an apartment complex.

Note: content adapted from Wikipedia article under CC licence.

WA Police Suspends Local Policing Initiatives To Focus On Faster Intervention

Police Minister Liza Harvey and Senior Sergeant Ashley Goy championed the local policing initiative

Faced with an increase in crime (16.6% above the previous year) across a range of offences since last winter, Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has indefinitely suspended the local policing initiative (Frontline 2020) to boost police capacity to respond to crime. Continue reading WA Police Suspends Local Policing Initiatives To Focus On Faster Intervention

Fifteenth Anniversary of the Australia Day Police Tragedy

Cessna 310 (civilian), similar to the aircraft operated by WA Police

Australia Day 2001: four police officers onboard a Cessna aircraft (call-sign PolAir 64) are on a return flight to Newman after investigating a serious domestic disturbance in the remote Aboriginal community of Kiwirrkurra, near the border of Northern Territory.

What happened that night became the most tragic loss of lives in a single accident in the history of Western Australian Police. Continue reading Fifteenth Anniversary of the Australia Day Police Tragedy

How Police Dogs Turned Into Cybernetic Hunters

police dog swat

A German Shepherd lies on a stretcher in a sterile exam room, tucked in a fleece blanket. The room’s perimeter is lined with men in crisp khaki uniforms, handguns strapped to their sagging utility belts. A shrill beep sounds over a radio, and an impassive dispatcher’s voice is heard over the men’s gentle sniffling. Continue reading How Police Dogs Turned Into Cybernetic Hunters