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Police seeking to "recruit" protesters as informers

Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Author: Liam Mannix, Indaily

PLAIN-CLOTHED police officers from SAPOL's intelligence branch have approached members of Palestinian and Tamil protest groups in Adelaide, with one saying they tried to recruit him as an informer.

Adelaide-based activist Ryan Mallett-Outtrim was approached by a plain-clothed member of SAPOL's Security Intelligence Section last month in what Mallett-Outtrim says was an effort to recruit him.

After initially denying the incident ever took place, SAPOL have confirmed Mallett-Outtrim was approached by the Security Intelligence Section.

The police claim the approach was made to "examine opportunities to safely facilitate protests".

Outtrim told Indaily he was approached in a coffee shop by a man in a business suit who knew his name, address and political views.

"The officer told me he was with 'security and intelligence', and that his job was to create links between the police and the activist community," Mallett-Outtrim told Indaily via email.

"During a conversation that lasted for around 10 minutes, he asked if I would be interested in providing him with information regarding the activities of activist groups.

"the proposition was fairly simple: he would give me a phone number, which I could call any time I came into contact with information that could be useful to police."

Outtrim told Indaily the officer refused to provide proof of his identity, a claim SAPOL denies.

Outtrim wasn't interested, and said so. Later, suspecting the whole event was someone trying to con him, he decided to report it to SAPOL - who told him the whole thing had been a hoax.

"I was repeatedly told by that my experience did not sound credible and that it was probably a hoax," Outtrim wrote in an article published last week in the University of South Australia's student newspaper.

"After badgering SAPOL for days, and being visited twice by intelligence agents at home, my fears that I was being stalked by some kind of lunatic were finally put to rest."

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