Aus­tralia’s great­est de­tec­tive reAEects on a suc­cess­ful ca­reer

Shepparton News - - PETS WEEKEND -

True crime meets bi­og­ra­phy in in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Jus­tine Ford’s lat­est book that places the life of one of Aus­tralia’s most well-known homi­cide de­tec­tives un­der the mag­ni­fy­ing glass.

The Good Cop: The True Story of Ron Id­dles, Aus­tralia’s Great­est De­tec­tive re­counts the life and ca­reer of a man who af­ter 25 years as a homi­cide de­tec­tive had a 99 per cent con­vic­tion rate.

Known for work­ing on cases such as the mur­der of Shep­par­ton teenager Michelle Buck­ing­ham in 1983, Mr Id­dles’ ca­reer has seen him en­counter some of Aus­tralia’s most hard­ened crim­i­nals.

But in re­al­ity it was clas­sic Aus­tralian TV show Homi­cide that in­spired the man, who grew up in Rochester and Lock­ing­ton to pur­sue a ca­reer with Victoria Po­lice.

“Be­lieve it or not I was fas­ci­nated with the orig­i­nal Homi­cide se­ries,” he told Week­end Life. “I thought that would be a fan­tas­tic job. “It’s been a fas­ci­nat­ing ca­reer, a fas­ci­nat­ing jour­ney.”

Mr Id­dles joined Victoria Po­lice when he was 18 and said back then it was fairly easy to get in.

“In 37 years of polic­ing I don’t think there’s too much I haven’t seen,” he said.

Dur­ing the cre­ation of The Good Cop, Mr Id­dles met with Ms Ford sev­eral times to re­count his story.

Mr Id­dles said when he left the Homi­cide Squad he was ap­proached by three pub­lish­ers to have a book writ­ten about his ca­reer and even­tu­ally agreed to do it on the ba­sis that he did not get paid for shar­ing his story.

“It’s a bit daunt­ing to have a book writ­ten about you,” he said.

“It was a long process but then you think, ‘Gee, have I done all that?’

“(But) I think it reads well, it’s well put to­gether.

“To some ex­tent it’s for ev­ery­one who has ap­proached me and fol­lowed my ca­reer.”

Dur­ing his ca­reer, Mr Id­dles has trav­elled abroad in­ves­ti­gat­ing crimes and has only lost three tri­als in the Supreme Court.

A mo­ment that stood out for Mr Id­dles’ as a po­lice ofÅcer was when the Rus­sell St po­lice head­quar­ters com­plex in Mel­bourne was se­ri­ously dam­aged in 1986 af­ter a bomb hid­den in a car det­o­nated and killed Con­sta­ble An­gela Tay­lor.

“That was an at­tack on all po­lice,” he said.

But since 1986 the na­ture of polic­ing across the state has changed sig­niÅ­cantly.

Mr Id­dles said ice, ter­ror­ism and fam­ily vi­o­lence were se­ri­ous prob­lems, as well as the mental health of po­lice ofÅcers.

As the sec­re­tary of the Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion Victoria, Mr Id­dles is aware of the prob­lems many ofÅcers face while work­ing.

He said many po­lice left the force be­cause of mental health prob­lems and never re­turned, which was some­thing the as­so­ci­a­tion was work­ing to ad­dress by ask­ing the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment to change the leg­is­la­tion around psy­cho­log­i­cal claims.

A long ca­reer has seen Mr Id­dles re­ceive an Or­der of Aus­tralia Medal and an Aus­tralian Po­lice Medal. De­spite this, Mr Id­dles re­mains hum­ble. “I’m hon­oured to have a book writ­ten but that was not what I was ever about,” he said.

WEEK­END LIFE GIVE­AWAY Week­end Life has Åve copies of The Good Cop: The True Story of Ron Id­dles, Aus­tralia’s Great­est De­tec­tive by Jus­tine Ford to give away thanks to pub­lisher Pan Macmil­lan Aus­tralia. To en­ter, email the code word COP to...

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