Chief Inspector Dennis Lock, of Adelaide, is on a
three-month secondment at the central Dunedin police
station, where he is filling in for Inspector Alastair
Dickie. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Snow, sunburn and better technology are shaping Chief
Inspector Dennis Lock's experience of Dunedin during his
three-month secondment from the Adelaide police.
Chief Insp Lock has spent two months at the Dunedin Central
Police Station, filling in for Inspector Alastair Dickie who
is relieving in Central Otago.
A career policeman, Chief Insp Lock has filled many of the
South Australia Police's top positions since graduating in
He has been in charge of uniformed operations in the Sturt
local service area for the past 12 months, responsible for
five police stations and a watchhouse in the southern
metropolitan area of Adelaide with a population of about
He spent 20 years in the Special Tasks and Rescue group,
which had a combined focus on anti-terrorist activity, search
and rescue and high-risk crime.
Originally from the South Australia city of Mount Gambier
(population 24,000), he sacrificed a rural lifestyle to rise
through the ranks professionally.
He spent two years in charge of recruiting for the South
Australia Police, led the equity and diversity branch and was
made a chief inspector in 2006.
The secondment to Dunedin is his first stint in the South
Island, which he says is "absolutely brilliant".
South Australia Police offer secondments to Kent in England,
Singapore and Hong Kong as well as New Zealand.
In the decade of secondments with New Zealand, about 10
senior officers from each country have temporarily swapped
Chief Insp Lock has made the most of his new surroundings,
recently taking his family to ski in Queenstown. His wife
Sue, a sergeant with the sex crime investigation branch in
Adelaide, and their 12-year-old son Harry visited during the
South Australia school holidays.
Getting sunburnt on the snow was a novelty experience,
especially for his son who had never seen snow before.
Crime in Dunedin was similar to that in South Australia,
although the technology available to New Zealand officers was
superior, he said.
Systems used in the central Dunedin station have inspired
Chief Insp Lock, who has written a list of potential
improvements to trial in Sturt.
"New Zealand police have implemented some great technical
processes to allow more staff on the frontline," he said.
He was thankful for a "brilliant" bunch of staff at Dunedin
in helping make his visit one of mutual benefits.
The future of policing in New Zealand and Australia would be
driven by greater community involvement and use of the
internet, he said.