Top Counter Terror Cop Is New Police Chief Commissioner

25 May 2015

The Andrews Labor Government is today pleased to announce that Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton AM has been appointed Victoria’s new Chief Commissioner of Police.

He will start work on July 1, replacing Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright.

The Government wishes Mr Cartwright and his family the best in his retirement and thanks him for his outstanding service to the people of Victoria over 41 years in the police force, including as Acting Chief Commissioner.

Mr Ashton has been a police officer for 34 years. He has spent 24 years with the Australian Federal Police, five years with the then Victorian Office of Police Integrity, and five years at Victoria Police.

He joined the AFP in 1980 and has extensive experience in counter terrorism. Following the Bali Bombings in 2002, Mr Ashton was made joint leader in the investigation. In 2003 he became Assistant Commissioner in charge of counter terrorism. Mr Ashton was later recognised for his counter terrorism work, becoming a Member of the Order of Australia.

In 2004 he left the AFP to become deputy director of the OPI and joined Victoria Police in 2009.

From 2012 to 2014, Mr Ashton was Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Special Operations, responsible for the crime command (including counter terrorism).

While at Victoria Police he helped develop a victim-oriented approach to policing.

This included reopening cold-case homicides and sexual crimes and establishing Taskforce Sano, which investigated sexual abuse of children in religious, charitable and State care.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Mr Ashton’s vast operational experience in counter terrorism, as well as organised and serious crime, will help keep our community safe.”

“Mr Ashton will ensure Victoria Police remains a world-class police force dedicated to protecting the community.”

“He has had a distinguished career in all levels of policing – state, national and international. He is the right person to lead Victoria Police.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police, Wade Noonan

“Crime increasingly knows no geographical boundaries, and Mr Ashton has a breadth and a depth of experience in state and national law enforcement that will be an asset for Victoria.’’

“Victoria is deeply grateful to Tim Cartwright for his dedication and leadership, not only while Acting Chief Commissioner, but for his 41 years’ service.'’

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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