In the last three years, 102 covert police operations involving over 300 law enforcement officers have taken place in WA, with over half of those operations regarding drug crime.
There were 48 operations in 2014 and 49 operations in 2015, with only 5 occurring across 2012-2013.
The covert powers act was passed in December 2012.
Methamphetamine production and sale has been the principal focus of covert power operations.
However, a number of covert operations have turned up concerning results – according to a report tabled in parliament earlier this month, at least three operations were only able to seize just under 2 grams of heroin, eleven tablets of dexamphetamine and just over four ounces of cannabis respectively – by no means the makings of empires.
It’s important to note that a number of operations have been successful – it seems that WA’s Ice Task Force has been the strongest voice of advocacy for the new powers.
A number of operations have ended up as nothing more than information gathering exercises, with no seizures or arrests made.
The report focuses on a number of bungles made within the various departments involved in the covert powers act, but most are of a technical nature.
Typical errors surround the hand-to-hand purchases of illegal goods by undercover officers.
Officers found to be acting illegally while undercover are referred for investigation to the CCC.