In 2017, the NSW Police Force created a special section, the Fixated Persons Investigations Unit (FPIU). Its remit, as advertised, was to plug a growing and scary gap in policing: lone-wolf violent (or potentially violent) offenders who have been showing signs of dangerous extremism but fall short of the threshold for terrorism.
The target market, we were told, were the (mostly) men we traditionally refer to as "crazies". Individuals who have become obsessed with a single mad idea, a group in society or another person, and who are at risk of turning that obsession into acts of violence. An example might have been the man whose actions were part of the reason for the unit’s creation: Man Haron Monis, the Lindt cafe gunman.
Two years after its formation, the FPIU had reportedly completed more than 100 investigations, charged 40 people and seized 31 firearms. It was, we were told, working well and achieving its purpose. Mostly below the public radar, manning the wall that enables us to sleep.