Our global work
On this page:
- Our international operations
- Our partnerships
- Help for Australian law enforcement agencies
- Help for members of the public
Today's criminal environment is borderless, complex, technology-driven and volatile. So many of our investigations have a global context.
We are Australia's key agency supporting internal stability and the rule of law internationally. Our international role helps to prevent fragility in our region. Our geographical reach, specialist capabilities and partnerships uniquely positions us to lead and coordinate policing responses to address future threats.
Our international goals and objectives aim to:
- ensure the most efficient and effective response to global criminal threats
- safeguard Australia
- deliver mutual benefits with international partners.
We work to protect Australia and Australia’s interests by contributing to 4 main goals:
- Maximum impact on international criminal activity affecting Australia or Australians.
- International peace, stability and security are upheld.
- Strong and mutually beneficial partnerships for international activities.
- Australian high office holders, members of foreign diplomatic missions, witnesses and international aviation users remain safe and relevant property is protected.
Our international operations
As Australia’s international law enforcement agency, we coordinate all engagement with the foreign law enforcement community. We do this to protect prosecutions and extraditions. It also protects the reputation of Australia’s policing agencies.
Our international role has 3 key parts:
- Capability development – we help build the ability of international law enforcement agencies to combat crime that crosses international borders (transnational crime) and promote regional stability.
- Collaboration – we collaborate with international law enforcement agencies to drive investigations.
- Intelligence gathering – we collect and exchange information to support domestic and international law enforcement efforts.
We also cooperate with Australian Government bodies both at home and overseas. Working together, we can fight crime at its source.
We have people on the ground in over 30 countries. Our international posts cover these regions:
Each regional post has responsibility for several countries.
Our people, based across the world, deliver operational outcomes to protect Australia’s national interests. Regional Commanders are based in:
- Washington DC
They are supported by senior liaison officers and advisers, providing strategic leadership and guidance. They also implement region-wide law enforcement areas of emphasis and responsibilities.
Promoting and protecting gender equality
UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 urges increasing the participation of women and incorporating gender perspectives in all UN peace and security efforts. To support UNSCR 1325, the Australian Government committed to the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. As our national policing agency, we help implement this plan through our International Command Gender Strategy. It explains how we promote and protect gender equality across all our international policing operations.
We support Australia's international law enforcement interests through cooperation with key international partners. This cooperation allows us to:
- combat serious organised crime and corruption
- respond to emergencies
- take part in peacekeeping operations
- provide capacity building police partnership programs in our region
- contribute to Australia's border management and security
- coordinate the Pacific Transnational Crime Network
- provide coordinated police development assistance.
This engagement is critical to developing and maintaining partnerships with international law enforcement. This includes a coordination role for foreign law enforcement members here in Australia.
Despite the uncertainty and complexity we all face, police-to-police relationships endure in otherwise difficult times. We share the common goal of keeping our communities safe.
Help for Australian law enforcement agencies
We are the first point of contact for Australian federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies in relation to:
- overseas law enforcement enquiries
- international cooperation
- international coordination arrangements.
We work in partnership with:
Law enforcement agencies with international support enquires should contact us AFP through their agency international enquiries/liaison area or our National Operations State Service Centre.
Mutual assistance and extradition requests
Extradition requests are dealt with under the Extradition Act 1988 (Cth).
Australia can only accept extradition requests from declared extradition countries.
Australia can make extradition requests of any country. But if we don't have a treaty with a country, they may not accept it under their domestic law.
Australia can make or receive a request for mutual assistance in criminal matters from any country. However, we have treaties with some countries to make this easier.
Visit the Attorney-General's Department to learn more about extradition and mutual assistance.
Australian law enforcement agencies can contact INTERPOL for police-to-police enquiries and investigative requests. These include:
- criminal history checks
- missing persons overseas
- background enquiries such as habitation checks and license details
- subscriber checks
- travel movements checks
- enquiries in countries where the AFP doesn't have a permanent presence.
24 hours, 7 days: INTERPOL
Australian law enforcement agencies can contact Europol for intelligence and help with investigations relating to European Union (EU) member states and third countries (countries outside the EU or European Economic Area).
During business hours (Canberra local time): Europol Desk
Help for members of the public
Victims of crime overseas
Australian citizens who are victims of crime overseas can receive support from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) consular officers. Read DFAT's Consular Services Charter for more information.
Visit DFAT's Smartraveller website for important travel information.
We can't carry out inquiries in a foreign country without approval from that country's government.
We don't liaise with foreign law enforcement agencies on behalf of members of the Australian public. If you think you need to contact a law enforcement agency in another country, talk to your local police.
Sometimes, we may be asked to assist overseas law enforcement with investigations involving an Australian citizen. Some Australian laws also apply overseas. This means that some offences, like travelling child sex offenders, are crimes under Australian law, even if they take place overseas.
In both these situations, the foreign country needs to invite us and cooperate with us so we can investigate offences.
If you need to report a crime, you can either: