Frederick John HANSON QPM CBE(C)
aka ‘ Slippery ‘
( late of Terrigal )
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ?
Rank: Probationary Constable – 1937
Constable 1st Class ( during the War whilst with RAAF )
Sergeant 3rd Class – about 1947
Sergeant 2nd Class – 1952
Sergeant 1st Class – 1955
Inspector 3rd Class – appointed 26 September 1959
Inspector 2nd Class – appointed 16 April 1961
Inspector 1st Class – appointed 28 August 1962
Superintendent 3rd Class – appointed 31 October 1964
Superintendent 2nd Class – appointed 22 June 1966
Superintendent 1st Class – appointed 14 August 1967
Assistant Metropolitan Superintendent – 1967
Assistant Commissioner – appointed 25 September 1968
Acting Commissioner – appointed from 11 June 1970 to 22 July 1970, inclusive, during Commissioner ALLEN’s recreation leave.
Acting Commissioner – appointed from 1 March 1971 to 28 March 1971, inclusive, during Commissioner ALLEN’s recreation leave.
Acting Commissioner – appointed 5 June 1971 ( due to illness of Norm ALLEN )
Deputy Commissioner – appointed 14 January 1972
Commissioner – appointed 15 November 1972
Resigned – December 1976
Stations: 4 Division – ( Pedestrian / Traffic Duties ),
Broken Hill GD’s ( 1937 – 1940 ) & Plain clothes ( 1940 – 1942 ),
RAAF during the War years 31 January 1942 – 30 January 1946,
Vice Squad ( September 1946 – 1946 ),
Police Air Wing as Sgt 3/C ( 1946 – 1950 ),
21 Mobile Division – ( 1950 – 1953 ) Sgt 2/C
Broken Hill GD’s – ( 1953 – 1959 ) Sgt 1/C
Bega – ( 15 October 1959 – 17 April 1962 ) Inspector 3/C & O.I.C. (succeeded Insp. 3/C C. M. Lark, retired ).
Wollongong – ( 20 April 1962 – 16 June 1964 ) ( succeeded Insp. 1/C Allan Glenville Wild
Attended Australian Police College, Manly, 1963
Whilst at Police HQ, Phillip St and then College St, Sydney ( 22 June 1964 – 1976 ) he was the:
Metropolitan Police District – Superintendent 3rd Class
Superintendent 1st Class, Assistant Metropolitan Superintendent, Assistant Commissioner, Commissioner.
Service: From 7 September 1936 to ? December 1976 = 40 years Service
Australian Imperial Force Royal Australian Air Force
Service # 407958
Rank: Flying Officer ( Lieutenant )
Next of kin: ?
Single / Married: Married
Returned to Australia: ?
Awards: M.I.D. ( Mentioned in Despatches) NCA ( No Citation Available ) Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 21 June 1945 Page 1353, position 54
Awards: King’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air – granted 1 January 1945
Queen’s Police Medal ( QPM ) – granted 11 June 1966
The Order of the British Empire – Commander ( Civil ) ( CBE(C)) – granted 1 January 1974
Born: 26 May 1914 in Orange, NSW
Died on: 26 October 1980 in Terrigal, NSW ( his home )
Cause: Carbon Monoxide poisoning ( suicide ?? )
Funeral date: ?
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: Cremated
Memorial at: ?
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May they forever Rest In Peace
Frederick John Hanson CBE (26 May 1914 at Orange, New South Wales – 26 October 1980 at Terrigal, New South Wales), was the Commissioner of the New South Wales Police from 15 November 1972 until his retirement in 1976.
Early life and career
Frederick Hanson was born the eldest of four children to Ernest Frederick Hanson and Vera Marie Hanson. He did not remain in Orange for long before moving to Burwood where he was educated at the Christian Brother’s Saint Mary’s Boy’s School. He became a jeweller’s assistant before being hired as a porter with the New South Wales Government Railways. Hanson joined the New South Wales Police on 7 September 1936 at the age of 22 and the next year was posted to Broken Hill where, in the Sacred Heart Cathedral, he married Carole Louise Whitehall with Catholic rites on 9 November 1938. In 1940 Hanson was transferred to plain clothes duties.
Hanson served in the Citizen Air Force from 1932 to 1936 and obtained a private pilot licence in 1939. On 31 January 1942 he was transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force. Commissioned on 14 January 1943, Hanson served as a pilot in Britain, the Middle East and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and was mentioned in despatches. On 30 January 1946 he was demobilized as acting squadron leader and returned to the police.
Such rapid advancement in an organization which was committed to seniority based promotion resulted in a number of appeals. The first appeal was rejected and the remainder were withdrawn which allowed Hanson to overtake more than a thousand other police on the seniority list. After this he became known as ‘Slippery’.
The air wing was disbanded in 1950 and Hanson then moved to the new Number 21 Mobile Division.
He returned to Broken Hill in 1953 and was promoted to Sergeant (first class) in 1955.
Hanson was appointed Assistant Commissioner in 1968, Deputy Commissioner on 14 January 1972 and Commissioner on 15 November 1972.
That year he also attended the general assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization at Frankfurt, Germany.
In 1974 he visited the Australian police contingent at Cyprus.
While Commissioner Hanson introduced merit rating, abolished seniority in executive promotions and also established the crime intelligence unit.
By objecting to New South Wales Police Association attempts to gain greater access to the Industrial Commission of New South Wales he sparked contention.
Hanson gained widespread support in 1975 when he initiated aggressive street patrols to counter hoodlum activity, however he failed to control illegal gambling which was to become a major public issue.
In 1976 Hanson sued the then Australian Broadcasting Commission for defamation when it had been suggested that he had a financial interest in an illegal casino situated at Gosford; the case was later settled out of court.
Pressured to resign after adverse publicity, he delayed doing so until he was replaced in 1976 by his preferred successor and air wing colleague Mervyn Wood.
Further allegations of corruption were made against Hanson in the 1980s.
Hanson was a modest however humorous man, he kept his family life extremely private. He was a noted practical joker and esteemed by his subordinates for his genuine interest in their welfare, his readiness to delegate responsibility and his unwillingness to be hindered by red tape.
Survived by his wife, Hanson died from carbon monoxide poisoning by inhalation on the night of 25 to 26 October 1980 at his Terrigal home; the Coroner dispensed with an inquest and Hanson was cremated.
There were persistent allegations about Hanson’s involvement in organised crime, and was repeatedly claimed that he corruptly received payments from criminals and that he was the part-owner of an illegal casino at Gosford, in which former detective Ray “Gunner” Kelly is also alleged to have had an interest.
Hanson featured prominently in The Prince and the Premier, the 1985 book by investigative journalist David Hickie, which canvassed allegations of corruption against senior NSW government officials, including Premier Robert Askin and senior police including Norman Allan, Hanson and Merv Wood.
Hickie specifically named both Allan and Hanson as corrupt, stating that they knowingly allowed illegal casinos and illegal SP (off-track) betting to flourish in NSW. Citing an “impeccable” and highly placed source within the illegal gaming empire established by Perc Galea, Hickie alleged that Askin and his police commissioners, Allan and Hanson, were paid bribes amounting to A$100,000 per year from 1967 until Askin’s retirement.
Another of Hickie’s informants, a former croupier at Galea’s Double Bay Bridge Club, claimed that A$5000 per week from the club was paid in bribes to Hanson and Askin. Hickie also notes that Hanson was among the mourners at Galea’s funeral in 1976.
In 1979 John Hatton, an independent politician claimed in the New South Wales Parliament that Askin and Hanson knew of and may have even encouraged the penetration of Australian crime by “overseas mobsters, gangsters and the Mafia“.