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Monday, November 19, 2007

~ complaint to the australian ombudsman

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to express serious concerns regarding a television advertisement placed by the Australian Federal Police which encourages Australians to report suspicious activity in the community.

The phone-voices of Australians are heard communicating their fears to the AFP, so providing examples to the viewer of what may be considered questionable behaviour or speech. The spoken words are transcribed on screen, superimposed, moved about, and ultimately gathered together into a map of Australia composed entirely of the fear, uncertainty and suspicions of the callers.

To my sensibilities this is an unnecessarily extreme image which - if effective - would have the potential to degrade the general wellbeing of our society. It appears to urge the dissolution of trust and solidarity in a community which defines itself as open and content. How the image sits with regard to the typical Australian opinion of the 'dobber', I could only speculate.

The concerns of the AFP may be real, and the assistance of the community may be helpful in addressing them, but this advertisement employs imagery that is well beyond the pale. It seems to encourage the kind of behaviour we associate with communist East Germany, in which neighbour is pitted against neighbour in their fear of the secret police. At least that was my first reaction.

I hope that by drawing your attention to this advertisement, some reassessment of the AFP's approach may occur.

Additionally, I would ask that the timing of their campaign be considered. During the lead up to an election, the incitement of fear in a community is often used as a tactic by certain political blocs. With this in mind, the AFP advertisement would seem dangerously close to being political in itself.

sincerely,

Sam Sejavka

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6 comments:

Ann O'Dyne said...

Dear Mr Sejavka,
you can stop worrying about innocent people being erroneously dobbed for alleged suspicious behaviour.
here at the Feds we are just as stupid as the DHS who, as evahbodee kno, ignore repeated notifications re starving children.
Sleep tight and fear not the stasi-knock.
Sincerely, the Feds, per A.O'D.

Sam Sejavka said...

yeah.

Sam Sejavka said...

Mr Sam Sejavka


3 French Street


MOUNT WAVERLEY VIC 3149


Dear Mr Sjavka


Thank you for your letter of 19 November 2007 about the Australian Federal Police (AFP), regarding your concerns regarding a television advertisement
placed by the Australian Federal Police which encourages Australians to report suspicious activity in the community.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman does not usually investigate a complaint until it has been first raised with the agency concerned and the agency has been given an opportunity to resolve the matter. We have found that this is usually a more efficient way of resolving a complaint.

It appears from your letter that you have not yet raised your complaint with the AFP so we suggest that you do so before we become involved.

Contact details for the AFP are...

eek said...

Re: the reply you received

...in other words -- fuck off.

Typical.

Sam Sejavka said...

Don't worry, I'm not giving up. I just need a better internet connection before I storm the walls of the AFP

lily was here said...

And a fake passport and air ticket to Mumbai :)

Dont give up, seriously. Fear and distrust, more weapons of mass destruction.

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