Report a Commonwealth crime

The AFP has the jurisdiction to investigate:

  • Commonwealth crimes (sometimes called federal crimes)
  • Crimes that take place in the Australian Capital Territory.

On this page:

What is a Commonwealth crime?

Commonwealth crimes are crimes that fall within the law-making responsibilities of the Australian government (sometimes called the Federal government).

State and Territory crimes are crimes that fall within the law-making responsibilities of State and Territory governments.

Knowing which crimes are Commonwealth and which are not can be confusing and complex. Below are some examples:

Examples of Commonwealth crimes - report these to the AFP

  • Aircraft, airport and aviation crimes
  • Child sex offences by Australians in foreign countries
  • Drug importation and exportation
  • People smuggling
  • Human Trafficking - including trafficking for slavery, organ harvesting, sexual and/or labour servitude
  • Online Child Exploitation (child abuse material)
  • Terrorism
  • Fraud against the Commonwealth government
  • Theft from the Commonwealth government
  • Assault on a Commonwealth official
  • Threats against a Commonwealth official

Examples of State or Territory crimes – report these to your local police

  • Abduction
  • Assault
  • Drink driving
  • Drugs - drug dealers and drug users
  • Fraud - including online and overseas frauds and scams
  • Home invasions
  • Kidnapping
  • Missing persons
  • Murder
  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Stalking - including online stalking
  • Theft - including theft of mail once delivered
  • Threats - including threats by phone, email, social networking sites, forums etc
  • Traffic offences

Crimes that take place in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Go to the ACT Policing site to find more information about crimes that take place in the ACT.

Commonwealth crimes which the AFP investigates

The AFP carefully considers all reports of Commonwealth crimes, however we do not have the resources to investigate every reported crime. We have to ensure we allocate our resources to the crimes which have the greatest impact to Australian society. The AFP's priorities are published on our web-site in our Case Categorisation and Prioritisation Model (CCPM). Visit How the CCPM is applied to read about how we make our decisions.

What the AFP does not investigate

The AFP does not investigate:

  • Civil matters. This includes:
    • breach of contract
    • faulty goods or services
    • defamation
  • State or Territory crimes - even when the crimes have occurred in more than one State or Territory, or where the suspects live in foreign countries – these are still the responsibility of State or Territory police who can seek assistance from interstate or foreign law enforcement as appropriate. In order to refer an investigation to a foreign law enforcement agency it is necessary to report the matter to your local State or Territory police. Once your local police have exhausted all possible avenues within Australia they can refer the investigation overseas using Interpol Canberra. Members of the public cannot report crimes directly to Interpol or foreign law enforcement. You must report crimes to your local police first.
  • Some types of Commonwealth crimes unless they have been reported to the responsible Australian Government department or agency first. These include:
    • Crimes against an Australian agency or department, such as fraud against that agency or department
    • When another agency or department has the expertise to assess the crime themselves.

The table below lists some common complaints and crimes and shows you where you should report them.

Crime or matterWhere you should report it
State or Territory Crimes In emergencies, Triple Zero - 000
For non-urgent matters, report to your local police
To provide information, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
Complaints about an Australian government department or agency, including Courts and Magistrates Report it to that department or agency first. If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive from the involved agency you can then raise your concerns with the Commonwealth Ombudsman via their website www.ombudsman.gov.au
If your complaint is about an AFP employee, read about the AFP's Professional Standards
Complaints about your State or Territory police Contact your local police to find out who investigates complaints in your State or Territory. Each State or Territory has a different agency responsible for investigating police complaints and allegations of corruption. If your complaint is about an ACT police officer, read about the AFP's Professional Standards
Centrelink fraud
(Does not include scams)
Call the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off line 131 524 or report it to Centrelink via their website www.centrelink.gov.au
Family Court matters Contact the Family Court via their website www.familycourt.gov.au or on 1300 352 000
Film piracy, including DVDs Report it to the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft via their website www.afact.org.au
Immigration and visa offences Report it to Department of Immigration and Citizenship via their website
www.immi.gov.au
International child abduction Contact the Attorney-General's Department on 1800 100 480 or by email at CentralAuthority@ag.gov.au
Offensive content on the internet Report it to the Australian Communication and Media Authority via their website www.acma.gov.au
Scams Report it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission via their website www.SCAMwatch.gov.au
Spam email Report it to the Australian Communication and Media Authority via their website www.acma.gov.au
Taxation offences Report it to the Australian Taxation Office via their website www.ato.gov.au
Theft of mail before it is delivered Report it to Australia Post via their website www.auspost.com.au

Report a Commonwealth crime How do I report a crime to the AFP?

You can report a Commonwealth crime online by using our form.

You can also post a written report to your nearest AFP office. Postal addresses for your nearest office can be found at the bottom of this page.

Have you included:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • Your address
  • Times and dates
  • Locations
  • Names of people, including middle names and dates of birth
  • Facts about the crime

Phone advice

Call the AFP's National Switchboard on (02) 6131 3000 if you:

  • need help reporting a crime
  • have questions about whether you should report a crime to the AFP

You cannot generally report a crime by phone but we will be happy to assist you in making a written report.

After hours you can call the AOCC Watchfloor on (02) 6126 7777. 

Terrorism

If you have information about possible signs of terrorism you should contact the 24 hour National Security Hotline on
1800 123 400.

Anonymous information

If you would like to provide anonymous information about any crime (State, Territory or Commonwealth crimes) please phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to www.crimestoppers.com.au.

Contacts

Operations Monitoring Centre (OMC) contacts

LocationPostal addressPhone number
ACT
AOCC Client Liaison Team
GPO Box 401
Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: (02) 6126 7133
NSW
Coordinator OMC
Locked Bag A3000
Sydney South NSW 1232
Ph: (02) 9286 4000
NT
Coordinator OMC
PO Box 1888
Darwin NT 0801
Ph: (08) 8980 1300
QLD
(Brisbane)
Coordinator OMC
PO Box 920
Spring Hill QLD 4004
Ph: (07) 3222 1222
QLD
(Cairns)
Coordinator OMC
PO Box 844
Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4044 6600
SA
Coordinator OMC
PO Box 200
Kent Town SA 5071
Ph: (08) 8416 2811
TAS
Coordinator OMC
GPO Box 24
Hobart TAS 7000
Ph: (03) 6230 1525
VIC
Coordinator OMC
GPO Box 485G
Melbourne VIC 3001
Ph: (03) 9607 7777
WA
Coordinator OMC
PO Box 586
West Perth WA 6872
Ph: (08) 9320 3444
Urgent After Hours AOCC Watchfloor Ph: (02) 6126 7777