The Consorting Squad
In the year, 1929, legislation was passed by the Government of the day to prevent the consorting of criminals, known prostitutes, and persons of ill-repute. At the time, the City of Sydney was infested with criminals, undesirables, and nefarious groups, better known as the ‘razor gang’ element. This legislation was imperative at the time to combat the predatory activities of criminal gangs operating in the inner city precincts. To enforce the provisions of the new legislation, a Consorting Squad was formed within the Criminal Investigating Branch.
The activities of this new formed squad were largely responsible for the suppression of these organised criminal groups and the total extinction of the ‘razor gang’ adherents.
The Squad was not confined to the policing of legislation in regard to consorting. It was also used to cope with criminal extortions, prison escapes, race horse doping and other related offences in the racing industry, and poker machine cheats, in addition to arranging nearly all extraditions from New South Wales.
The members of the Squad attended all race meetings in the metropolitan area and at most country centres. At the race meetings they ‘consort suspected and reputed persons’ who, when brought before the Court, are liable to a penalty of six months hard labour for this type of offence.
The Squad was mobile and operated in any part of the State. It was supervised by a senior Detective Sergeant and comprised of fifteen members specially selected for this type of Police duty. Some personal had been trained in the handling of all types of firearms and tear gas and are now available at any time to aid and assist members of the newly formed Special Emergency Squad.
The Consorting Squad was considered the best training ground of all for aspiring young Detectives to acquire knowledge of the ‘under-world’ and the criminal element generally.