Norman Allan

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Norman Thomas William Allan (Lithgow, New South Wales, 3 June 1909 - Manly, 28 January 1977)[1] was the Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force, from 1962 to 1972. The year 1962 was significant in the history of the organisation as it was the 100th anniversary of its formation under the then present organisational structure.


Known unofficially as "Norman the Foreman", Allan finished his tenure during the years Robert Askin was Premier of New South Wales. While Allan was Police Commissioner illegal casinos in Sydney flourished in full view of both police and the public and yet very few police raids ever took place. The collective annual turn over of these casinos was estimated in 1974 to be $600 million[2] (or $3.8 billion in today’s dollars[3]). This netted the operators an untaxed profit of 16 million ($95 million today) after all costs and alleged bribes had been paid off.

A close associate of Perc Galea claimed that Police Commissioner Allan and his successor Frederick Hanson were paid $100,000 a year each in bribes.[4]

One of the greatest challenges of his tenure as commissioner was the Arantz scandal. Detective Sergeant Phillip Arantz developed a computer program that gave accurate crime data and showed information previously published by the commissioner was misleading or incorrect. NSW Police refused to acknowledge the new data which led Arantz to leak it to the press in November 1971. Following this he was forcibly admitted into hospital having been declared mentally ill by a police doctor, who later claimed he had been coerced into doing so by senior police,[5] and in 1972 Arantz was sacked from the force.

Allan at first denied the new figures were accurate but later confirmed their validity in a report tabled to parliament in September 1972.[6]

Arantz was finally reinstated back into the police force in 1989 after the NSW parliament brought in new reinstatement legislation.

In July 2008 Penguin published the book Gentle Satan: Abe Saffron, My Father by Alan Saffron, the only son of reputed Sydney crime czar Abe Saffron. The book contains allegations about Allan's supposed corrupt relationship with Saffron, claiming that Saffron regularly paid both Allan and Askin bribes of between A$5,000 and $10,000 per week each, that Allan was a frequent visitor to Saffron's office and home. Also included in the book is the allegation that Saffron paid for an overseas trip for Allan and an unnamed female companion.[7]


  1. Whitton, Evan (1993) "Allan, Norman Thomas William (1909–1977)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved25 April 2012
  2. McCoy, Professor Alfred W. "Drug Traffic", 1980, p. 202
  3. Reserve Bank Calculator –
  4. Hickie. David "The Prince and the Premier", 1985, p. 59
  5. "I was duped says doctor in Arantz case" Sydney Morning Herald, Page 2, 11 October 1988
  6. " Report Confirms Crime Increase". Sydney Morning Herald, p 1, 7 September 1972
  7. McClymont, Kate (27 July 2008) '"Saffron's son: Dad paid off Askin and lent Packer money".Sydney Morning Herald, 27 July 2008

Further reading

  • Whitton, Evan 'Allan, Norman Thomas William (1909–1977)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, Melbourne University Press, 1993, pp 28–29.
  • Whitton, Evan "Allan, Norman Thomas William (1909–1977)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University (on-line version of print version)
Preceded by
Colin Delaney
List of Commissioners of New South Wales Police
1962 - 1972
Succeeded by
Frederick Hanson