Australian Federal Police

Australian Federal Police

Infobox Law enforcement agency
agencyname = Australian Federal Police
abbreviation = AFP
formed = October 19, 1979
budget =
preceding1 = Commonwealth Police
preceding2 = Australian Capital Territory Police
preceding3 = Federal Bureau of Narcotics (Australia)
constitution1 = [ Australian Federal Police Act 1979]
country = Australia
governingbody = Parliament of Australia
federal = Yes
police = footnote
local = footnote
headquarters = 68 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City, ACT 2601, Australia
employees = 6,036 "(30 June 2007)" Australian Federal Police Annual Report 2006–07 Appendix 6]
volunteers = Small numbers for non operations related activity.
sworn = 2,501 "(30 June 2007)" Australian Federal Police Annual Report 2006–07 Appendix 6]
unsworn = 3,535 "(30 June 2007)" Australian Federal Police Annual Report 2006–07 Appendix 6]
electeetype = Minister
minister1name = The Hon Bob Debus MP, Member for Macquarie
minister1pfo = Home Affairs
chief1name = Mick Keelty
chief1position = Commissioner
unittype = Function
unitname = collapsible list |title=9 |Australian Hi-Tech Crime Centre |Counter Terrorism |Economic and Special Operations |Aviation |Border |International |Protection |International Deployment Group

officetype = Office
officename = collapsible list |title=9 |Adelaide Office |Brisbane Office |Darwin Office |Hobart Office |Melbourne Office |Perth Office |Sydney Office |Protective Service, Kingston |Winchester Centre, ACT
website =
footnotes = The Australian Federal Police, while a federal agency, provides direct policing for dependant Australian territories.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces it history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to federation in 1901.

The role of the AFP is to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth, both criminal law and civil law and to protect the interests of the Commonwealth both domestically and internationally.

The current head of the AFP is Commissioner Michael Joseph (Mick) Keelty APM.


The AFP was formed on October 19, 1979 under the [ Australian Federal Police Act 1979] [ [ AFP governance framework] ] after the merging of the former Commonwealth Police and the Australian Capital Territory Police. In November 1979, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics of the Australian Customs Service was transferred to the new agency. [ [ Documenting Democracy] . "National Archives of Australia".] In 1984 the Protective Service component of the AFP was separated forming the Australian Protective Service, subsequently that government agency was transferred back to the AFP in 2004.

As of November 2007, the AFP is part of the Home Affairs Ministry, and the AFP Commissioner reports to the Minister of Home Affairs [ [ AFP governance framework] ] , currently Bob Debus. Prior to the creation of the Home Affairs portfolio in November 2007, the AFP answered to the Minister for Justice and Customs.

Roles and functions today

The AFP enforces Commonwealth law and protect Commonwealth and national interests from crime in Australia and overseas. The AFP provides community policing to the ACT, the Jervis Bay Territory, Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The AFP also provides protective services to, for and on behalf of the Australian Government.

The AFP is Australia's international law enforcement and policing representative and the chief advisor on policing issues to the Australian Government. Internationally, the AFP maintains an extensive liaison network, posting officers in 33 overseas posts. The AFP works closely and collaboratively with all of the Australian police forces and criminal investigative agencies.

The AFP consists of a workforce of over 4800, consisting of federal agents, protective service officers and employees.

National activities

Federal Agents (police officers) are located in every Australian capital city and internationally and form the largest component of AFP staff, chiefly performing criminal investigations.

Federal Agents investigate and enforce Commonwealth criminal law. The key priorities of the organisation are set by the Australian Minister for Justice and Customs through a legislative ministerial 'direction'.

The current areas of focus for the AFP:
*Illicit drug trafficking
* Organised people smuggling, including sexual servitude and human exploitation
* Serious major fraud against the Government
* High Tech Crime involving information technology and communications
* Preventing, countering and investigating terrorism
* Transnational and multi-jurisdictional crime
*Money laundering
*Organised crime

The AFP hosts the Australian Hi-Tech Crime Centre, the National Missing Persons Coordination Unit, the Australian Interpol National Central Bureau and the Australian Bomb Data Centre.

Community policing activities

The AFP provides community policing services to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). This is provided through a contractual arrangement between the Australian Government and the ACT Government. Known as ACT Policing, its mission is to keep the peace and preserve public safety. Key sections of ACT Policing include general duties, crime and safety management, criminal investigations, crime prevention, traffic operations and criminal intelligence. The head of ACT Policing is known as the Chief Police Officer of the Australian Capital Territory.

A review of aviation security in Australia in 2005 led to the streamlining of security at all major Australian airports, a new section 'Airport Uniform Policing' was established as a result of the review. Members of State and the Northern Territory police agencies are seconded to the AFP to provide policing services at each of the 11 major Australian airports.

AFP officers also perform community policing within the mainland Jervis Bay Territory and the external territories of Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

AFP members also provide a mix of peacekeeping and community policing services in a number of overseas missions.

Protection activities

AFP 'Uniform Protection' provides protective security for the Australian Government at key locations throughout Australia and internationally. Uniform Protection members provide Counter Terrorism First Response (CTFR) security to many major Australian airports, foreign embassies and consulates and Australian Government buildings and installations. They also perform duties as Air Security Officers (ASO), a plain clothes division which provides an anti hijack capability to Australian registered aircraft. Officers within this section of the AFP are Protective Service Officers (PSO) and have law enforcement powers similar to police officers, such as the power to stop, search and arrest individuals who commit certain federal offences.

Federal Agents are responsible for the personal protection of Australian and non-Australian high office holders and other interests as are identified by the Australian Government.

International deployments

Since its inception, the AFP has had a long tradition of involvement in international peacekeeping and policing. This area of the AFP, known as the International Deployment Group, has greatly increased over recent years necessitating the secondment of police officers from other Australian police forces.

Since 1964, Australia has contributed police officers to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. AFP officers also presently serve with the United Nations in East Timor and Sudan. Previous peacekeeping missions have included Haiti, Mozambique, Thailand, Namibia, South Africa and Somalia.

In recent years, Australian Government efforts to assist neighbouring and remote countries with institutional capacity building has led to AFP deployments to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tonga, Vanuatu and Afghanistan.

The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is a new type of international deployment, with the police forming one large component of a large government assistance mission. The mission is a partnership of 15 pacific region countries and the Solomon Islands Government in a long-term exercise aimed at helping create the conditions necessary for a return to stability, peace and a growing economy.


The AFP's senior officer holds the rank of Commissioner.
* 1979 - 1982 Sir Colin Woods, KCVO, CBE, QPM
* 1983 - 1988 Major-General Ronald Grey, AO, DSO
* 1988 - 1994 Peter McAulay, AO, QPM
* 1994 - 2001 Mick Palmer, AO, APM
* 2001 - present Mick Keelty, APM

ee also

* Australian Protective Service
* CrimTrac
* Federal police
* National police
* List of Australian Federal Police killed in the line of duty
* Specialist Response and Security , the Police Tactical Group of the AFP
* Commonwealth Police
* Australian Capital Territory Police


External links

* [ Jobs @ Australian Federal Police]
* [ Australian Federal Police]
* [ Australian Hi-Tech Crime Centre home page]
* [ Australian Government Online]

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