Airport Uniformed Operations Policing (AUOP) officers provide a uniformed policing presence at the 10 major Australian airports in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
The AUOP role has been established as part of the transition from the Unified Policing Model to the "All-In" model at airports. The role is performed by former AFP Protective Service Officers who have transitioned to sworn AFP police officers, ex State and Territory police officers who have joined the AFP permanently, sworn AFP police officers from other AFP functions and new recruits to the AFP.
The AUOP Police officers provide immediate response to policing matters within the airport precincts. This includes attending to general community policing issues such as:
- investigating minor criminal matters
- taking reports of offences
- making arrests
- conducting interviews
- subsequent judicial processing.
Counter Terrorist First Response
The AUOP officers also provide a coordinated approach to the deterrence of and response to terrorist threats at Australia's major airports. These officers provide the first response to threats of terrorism in the aviation environment.
AUOP officers, specifically Bomb Appraisal Officers and firearms and explosive-detection teams, undertake planned activities to deter terrorist threats. Such activities may include firearms and explosives detection checks on passenger luggage or targeted sweeps of airport areas to search for improvised explosive devices.
Bomb Appraisal Officers are specially trained AUOP officers, whose primary role is to search for, locate, identify and confirm the presence of explosive materials, or improvised explosive devices. The four-week training course undertaken by AUOP officers to qualify as a Bomb Appraisal Officer is recognised by the National Counter Terrorism Committee.
Firearms and explosive-detection teams, each consisting of one dog and a handler, provide a highly mobile and unobtrusive explosives detection capability. Firearms and explosive-detection dogs have a highly developed sense of smell, giving them the ability to detect a range of military and commercial explosives mixtures and weapons. These teams conduct regular firearms and explosives searches at major airport terminals and aviation facilities as well as searches of aircraft, baggage and freight.
In the event of a terrorist incident, the AUOP role is to:
- contain the incident
- cordon the immediate area
- evacuate people who may be in danger
- collect relevant information
- provide on-going support in resolving the incident, as directed by the Airport Police Commander.
National Canine Capability
National Canine (K9) is a specialist multidisciplinary team providing canine resources to the AFP, including firearms and explosive detection, currency and drug detection and tactical canine capabilities
Firearms and Explosive Detection Dog Team (FEDD)
Firearms and Explosive Detection Dog (FEDD) Teams perform part of the AFP's Counter Terrorist First Response (CTFR) function operating out of the 10 major Australian airports. These teams are highly mobile, providing a broad screening capability over a wide variety of search areas including terminals, baggage, aircraft, vehicles and freight. They provide both a proactive and reactive support capability in the detection of a range of firearms and explosives including improvised explosive devices. These teams also perform screening and search duties at official establishments such as Parliament House in Canberra, and also operate at major international events.
Currency and Drug Detection Dog (CADD) Teams
The National Canine Training Centre runs currency and drug-detection courses to train the dogs to detect a wide range of international currency and drugs, including precursor chemicals. Currency dogs are trained to detect a wide range of international currency, including Australian and United States denominations. This capability contributes to detecting the illegal movement and concealment of currency in support of both National and Aviation specific law enforcement actions. Drug dogs are trained to detect a wide range of illicit narcotics and precursor chemicals. This capability compliments both targeted and proactive operations to detect, disrupt and dismantle both ad-hoc and organised illegal importation and movement of illicit drugs into and within Australia.
Find out more about Enhanced canine capability