As a young man Simon Illingworth was spending far too much time surfing and not enough time studying. He felt like he was wasting his life, so he decided to do something that would make a difference. He joined the Victorian police force. In his time as a police officer, Simon received an award for bravery, solved homicides. arrested drug traffickers and fought organised crime. But early in his career, Simon was faced with a devastating choice between being a good cop or a bent cop. lie chose to be a good cop. It was a choice that would leave him isolated, threatened and even bashed not by crooks, but by other policemen from an entrenched corrupt brotherhood. Overlooked for promotion, he went from being a person liked by all, to being hated by most: he was alone and very afraid. Simon spent his last four years in the force as an anti-corruption detective in the Victoria Police Ethical Standards Department. and his investigations led to a number of successful prosecutions. But despite the commendations, the price has been high. the fight hard and the threats against his life all too real. At the end of his tether, in May 2004 he risked everything to go public about the crisis facing the police force taking part in the ABC's Australian Story. Filthy Rat is a unique insight into the frightening world of Melbourne's gangland killings and police corruption. In its portrayal of corruption on both sides of the law, Simon Illingworth's story is a chilling account of what happens when society's defenders do what is indefensible. When mates, in the name of mateship. ask you to be above the law. Filthy Rat is also a reminder that absolute courage is not limited to white--hot moments on the streets of Melbourne, but can simply be the courage to do what is right. It shows us how one brave person can make a difference if we are to win the fight against crime and corruption at all levels in our community.