The Cop Who Fell to Earth

Craig Semple

The Cop Who Fell to Earth
Bonnier Echo
1 August 2023

The Cop Who Fell to Earth

Craig Semple

When a young eighteen-year-old Craig Semple joined the New South Wales Police Force in 1988, he generally preferred to steer clear of trouble rather than turn and face it. But like so many young police officers, through a process of intentionally and selflessly turning towards danger, he gradually built resilience to fear. By the time he started locking horns with some of the most feared members of Australia's outlaw motorcycle gangs, Craig thought himself completely bulletproof and fearless.

During a career spanning a quarter of a century, Craig Semple saw just about everything: murder, drug addition, suicide, fatal accidents, armed robbery, organised crime and much more. Trained and shaped during a pre-Royal Commission era of alcohol abuse and loose culture within the force, he then survived a post-Royal Commission purge - when those tasked with cleaning up corruption themselves became corrupted.

Craig's life and natural career progression suddenly jumped the tracks when his brother, a rookie police officer, was near-fatally stabbed by a drug dealer on the streets of Sydney. Now driven by a deeply personal motivation, Craig's obsession with fighting drug crime took him to the brink of personal, professional and marital destruction. Attempting to give his family and career a new start, Craig moved to the New South Wales north coast, where he soon became the victim of violent crime at the hands of outlaw bikies. This was the catalyst for a ten-year personal battle between one regional detective and several outlaw motorcycle gangs.

The Cop Who Fell to Earth gives rare insight into the difficulties and dynamics of criminal investigation. Crime scenes described in vivid detail provide a front-row seat to the challenges of trauma. Detailed accounts of investigations into crimes including child abuse and homicide highlight the impact on victims. Gripping narratives of covert, often dangerous, investigations into drug and organised crime shine a light on the shadows cast by despair, greed and power at all levels of society. From the rolling hills of the Riverina to the sugar cane fields of the Northern Rivers, Craig shares his journey in law enforcement right across the state of New South Wales.

The Cop Who Fell to Earth is Craig's story of transformation and profound personal growth through exposure to extreme life events. Ultimately, it is a story of how human endurance, tenacity, sacrifice and belief in something beyond the self ultimately lead to the triumph of good over evil.

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