The Corruption and Crime Commission is a permanent investigative commission established by the Government of Western Australia in 2003, largely as a result of the findings of a Royal Commission into the state's police service. Its role is to investigate public corruption. It is Western Australia's most elite law enforcement agency with exclusive coercive powers which allow investigative techniques such as phone tapping, covert surveillance, compulsory testifying of witnesses and the seizure of documents. The CCC has picked up a number of cases that have been previously dropped by the WA Police Internal Affairs Unit and charged police officers who are found to be breaking the law in the performance of their jobs.
CCC and journalists
The Commission was criticised in 2007 when it emerged it had secretly interrogated a number of Perth journalists. In 2006/2007 the Commission held 40.5 days of open hearings and 22 days of secret hearings.
The journalists were threatened with “fine and lengthy imprisonment” if they told anyone about their attendance. Under Commission law, witnesses can be fined $60,000 and imprisoned for three years if they disclose their attendance or discuss it with others.