Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

The Licensed Dealers Squad


Originally the Squad was known as the Gold Buyers Squad. The name was changed in later years to the Pawnbroking Squad and as the functions of the Squad became wider the name was changed to the Licensed Dealers Squad. Prior to 1974, a separate Squad known as the Metal Squad performed the function of supervising Scrap Metal Dealers throughout New South Wales. The Metal Squad was absorbed into the Licensed Dealers Squad in 1974, and the duties of supervising these Dealers was the responsibility of the Licensed Dealers Squad.

In late 1979 the Licensed Dealers Squad comprised of 18 designated Detectives, two Detectives in training from No. 21 Division and a Public Servant. The Squad was charged with the responsibility of supervising mainly from a criminal point of view, Second Hand Dealers throughout the metropolitan area and to a certain extent the whole State. A complete index was maintained at the Squad office, of all Dealers in the State of New South Wales. In 1979 there were over 4,000 Second Hand Dealers licensed in this State and they included antique dealers, jewellers, pawnbrokers and scrap metal dealers. The Squad are assisted to a large extent by members of the Property Tracing Section, which was a division of the Modus Operandi Section, in identifying stolen property located in the possession of these Dealers. Over 300 arrests were affected by members of the Licensed Dealers Squad in 1978 accounting for over half a million dollars in property. A large percentage of this property was recovered and returned to the rightful owners.

Following the advent of large antique and jewellery robberies throughout Australia and New Zealand and the arrest of inter-state and New Zealand criminals for such crimes, it became quite obvious that a greater liaison had to be made between Detectives from New Zealand and other Australian States especially in relation to the investigation of the disposal of stolen property.

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