News

Rare insight into police evidence room

BEHIND THE SCENES: Senior Constable Mark Ellison in the exhibit room at Tweed Heads Police Station.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Senior Constable Mark Ellison in the exhibit room at Tweed Heads Police Station. Alina Rylko

DETAILS about the exhibit room at Tweed Heads Police Station where staff collect vital evidence have been released for the first time by a retiring officer.

The unique insight was given by Senior Constable Mark Ellison, who was given a touching farewell at the station last Thursday, as he bade farewell to his job of 36 years.

Snr Const Ellison, who first joined the NSW Police Force in 1980, serving in Sydney for nine years before moving to the Tweed, gave unique insight into his role as an exhibit curator.

Sitting in the Tweed exhibit room, where two shipping containers of at least 4000 exhibits are kept under lock and key and manned by two staff, Snr Const Ellison said his pending departure felt surreal, saying he would miss his Tweed police colleagues and dealing with the outcomes of crime the most.

"I love it, processing it, getting rid of it. Disposing of firearms, weapons and drugs, that's our biggest problem at the moment. It's hard to believe that they're our biggest bugbears," he said.

"I will miss the people I work with.

"We audit the shipping containers twice a year but in some cases they're held up, and taking their natural course in court can take 12 months."

Snr Const Ellison revealed Tweed police seized and destroyed more drugs in one month than some other NSW local area commands did in a year, sending 500 exhibits to Sydney for destruction last month alone - most of the drugs seized at music festivals.

"In here at the moment we've got 300 drug exhibits, down from 1000 from Splendour (in the Grass Music Festival) but there's usually about 300 to 400, and they're usually court order-destroyed," he said.

Sex toys, consumed drugs and jewels have been among some of the more interesting exhibits Snr Const Ellison has had to file, while a simple fridge contains the biological evidence kits of rape cases for up to two years, depending on how the cases progress.

"Each exhibit is in a separate drug bag, one tablet or 100 or 200 tablets, the same amount of paperwork is involved and it's all important," he said.

"As far as we're concerned, we have to send it to Sydney, if you're over a certain amount it will affect what court you appear in."

Snr Const Ellison said he loved his job, explaining every exhibit found at a crime scene was of vital importance, including unusual discoveries such as rocks used in assaults.

But he stressed he'd never been tempted to try any of the exhibits, revealing one of the downsides of the job was the all-pervasive smell of marijuana in his clothing after he'd left the office.

"These people don't know what they've brought, what they're taking," he said, referring to street drugs.

"It's not like on TV. We go to the labs where they make them and they're the pits of people and there's nothing scientific about the way they mix it, it's all trial and error."

He said Tweed police were looking forward to new facilities when the new station opened next year.

Topics:  general-seniors-news police evidence senior constable mark ellison tweed byron lac police



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Boomerangs paddling out for world title tune up

Willis Keogh is off to Tahiti with the Australian under 19 Boomerangs in June.

Paddlers battle it out on the Tweed

Casuarina tops Tweed house market at $870,000

Casuarina recorded the region's top median prices for both houses ($870,000) and units ($435,000).

Buyers jumping at chance to get into Tweed property market

On the Mat:Underdogs come up trumps

WINNERS: Tweed Heads chief Paul Girdler. The Ospreys are undefeated in this year's Premier League.

Premier League Round Two

Local Partners

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

CALLS are going out for the community to join and celebrate the life of colourful musician and much-loved Tweed identity Paul Barrett.


Suzi Quatro returns with live supergroup launch

DEVIL GATE: Suzi Quatro will reignite her love affair with Australia in February for the Leather Forever Encore tour.

"It's always been a special place for me”

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Become a 'picker' at Byron with vintage fair

Who knows what you could find at this weekend's vintage fair?

THOUSANDS of collectors and sellers will converge on Byron Bay

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Casuarina tops Tweed house market at $870,000

Casuarina recorded the region's top median prices for both houses ($870,000) and units ($435,000).

Buyers jumping at chance to get into Tweed property market

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!