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
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
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.