When a case is entirely circumstantial, the community rightly expects a proper and thorough police investigation.
A critical part of solving murder investigations and other serious crimes is the inclusion and careful consideration of intelligence. From an examination of the Police Investigation Log (PIL) in the Sue Neill-Fraser matter, inquiries were made by police in relation to phone records and possible drug smuggling on yachts. There would also appear to be information from an anonymous informant or two. But there seems to have been an inadequate canvassing or acquiring of intelligence about the theft of dinghies in the area, about boats that had been unlawfully entered, or broken into, or people trespassing on boats moored off Sandy Bay or Battery Point. In addition, it would have been useful to know about people who had been apprehended or charged in recent times for similar offences in the area. Also, a check should have been made in relation to assaults or serious injuries in the area to persons by intruders or trespassers. The Marine Police would have been a key source of information in this regard and it would have been useful to discuss such matters with members of the yachting fraternity in Hobart or appeal to members of the public for such information via the media.
The police carried out some specific checks for the 3 month period before Australia Day 2009 and a 3 month period thereafter.
In relation to the period leading up to Australia Day, there is a statement by a Senior Constable from the Southern Crime Management Unit, dated 19 March 2009, which states:
Earlier on Tasmanian Times: