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Our agency

We are Australia's national policing agency, keeping Australians and Australia safe

Our agency

On this page:

As Australia’s national policing agency our role is to protect Australians and Australia’s interests. We prevent and disrupt threats to lives, livelihoods and Australia’s way of life here and overseas.

We are a criminal law enforcement and policy agency in the Attorney-General's portfolio and have the jurisdiction to investigate Commonwealth (federal) crimes across Australia, as well as crimes that occur in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). We:

  • enforce Commonwealth criminal law
  • lead and contribute to combating complex, transnational, serious and organised crime
  • disrupt crime offshore
  • support regional security as Australia's main international law enforcement representative
  • protect Australian interests from criminal activity here and overseas.

In an evolving and volatile criminal threat environment, we work across many types of crime.

Our people are on the front line, addressing and mitigating these threats. But we aren't working alone. We're always working with domestic and international partners, including:

  • policing services
  • law enforcement and regulatory agencies
  • intelligence and security agencies
  • the private sector
  • Australian communities.

Together, we're targeting serious criminals who are seeking to harm Australians and Australia's interests.

Internationally, we support law enforcement partners in our region to deliver professional policing services, share intelligence on transnational crime threats and strengthen regional resilience. Learn more about our global role.

Policing services

ACT Policing is the community policing arm of the AFP. We also work closely with all state and territory police forces to keep Australians safe and protect Australia's interests.

ACT Policing

New South Wales Police Force

Northern Territory Police

Queensland Police

South Australia Police

Tasmania Police

Victoria Police

Western Australia Police Force

Our vision

Policing for a safer Australia.

Our mission

As Australia's national policing agency we protect Australians and Australia's interests.

Our priorities

The Minister gives our Commissioner instructions that inform our priorities. We call these Ministerial Directions.

Our operational priorities are to:

  • investigate complex, transnational, serious and organised crime
  • protect Australians and Australian interests from terrorism and violent extremism
  • represent Australian police and law enforcement globally
  • develop unique capabilities and exploit advanced technology to support Australia's national interests.

We also:

  • protect at-risk people, places and events
  • provide a national counter-terrorism first response focused on aviation security and critical infrastructure.

Our history

The AFP began in October 1979, off the back of the 1978 bombing of Sydney's Hilton Hotel during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting.

The idea of federal policing, however, can be traced back to 1917, when protestors threw eggs at then-Prime Minister William Hughes.

Learn more about our history.

Join us

A job in the AFP opens up a world of exciting career prospects for police officers, protective services officers and unsworn specialist and support staff.

Work in the community as an ACT Policing officer. Or use your analytical and research skills to detect and shut down global crime rings as part of our national policing team. You'll enjoy a diverse and collaborative culture, with the added reward of protecting Australia and its citizens.

Find out how to apply to join the AFP.

To see our current vacancies and find a role that suits you, visit our Jobs Portal.

A line of police officers being greeted by a senior officer

My vision is for the AFP to continue to grow as an agile, innovative and progressive police force; one that is reflective of the community we serve, and relentless in the pursuit of unleashing maximum damage on the criminal environment.

Reece P Kershaw APM
AFP Commissioner