Ex-detective hopes stand vs. corruption inspires others

Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:46am EDT
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Former Australian detective Deborah Locke's life became a living nightmare after she blew the cover on police corruption but the steely 46-year-old says it was worthwhile if people remember her and follow her lead.

It's been 14 years since Locke was discharged "medically unfit" from the police force in the state of New South Wales and more than 15 years since she went to authorities to give details of a "one-in-all-in" culture of bribery among police colleagues.

But Locke said she was determined to ensure that her stand against corruption would not be forgotten and would help give others the strength to do the right thing.

This year she has published the second edition of her book "Watching the Detectives" and was also portrayed in a new series of the popular Australian TV crime drama "Underbelly" set in 1989 in Sydney's red light district, Kings Cross.

"I don't regret what I did. I can sleep at night," Locke told Reuters in a recent interview.

Locke joined the NSW police force with high hopes in 1984, but quickly realized it was hard to slot into such a male dominated culture.

After leaving uniform policing to become a plain clothes detectives, she found she could not accept the "one-in all-in" culture over taking bribes.

Hard-drinking detectives regularly mingled with criminals and corruption was seen by some as part of daily policing to keep strip clubs owners, pimps, and drug lords under control.   Continued...