Report a Commonwealth crime

The AFP has the jurisdiction to investigate Commonwealth crimes (sometimes called federal crimes) and crimes that take place in the Australian Capital Territory.

This page is for the information of the general public.

If you are contacting us on behalf of a Government Department or Agency, please visit these pages:

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
  • Cybercrime committed against Commonwealth Government departments or information systems of national significance
  • Drug importation and exportation
  • Espionage and foreign interference - including community interference
  • People smuggling
  • Human Trafficking - including trafficking for slavery, organ harvesting, sexual, domestic and/or labour servitude and forced marriage
  • 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
  • Cybercrime – including online fraud, such as eBay, and internet scams
  • 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 website 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 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?

Civil matter

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.

Common complaints and crimes and where you should report them

Crime or matter Where you should report
State, 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
Centrelink or Medicare fraud
(Does not include scams)
Call the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off line 131 524 or report it to Centrelink or Medicare via the Services Australia website.
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.
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
Crime Stoppers If you would like to provide anonymous information about any crime (State, Territory or Commonwealth crimes) please phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the Crimestoppers website.
Cybercrime (including online fraud, such as eBay, and internet scams) Report it to the Australian Cyber Security Centre
Espionage and foreign interference (including community interference)

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

Read more:

Family Court matters Contact the Family Court via their website or phone 1300 352 000
Film piracy, including DVDs Report it to the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft
Immigration, citizenship and customs offences Report it to Australian Border Force
Intellectual Property Contact IP Australia for advice.
International child abduction Contact the Attorney-General's Department on 1800 100 480 or by email at
Offensive content on the internet Report it to the Australian Communication and Media Authority
Scams Report it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission via the SCAMwatch website
NOTE: Internet scams can be reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre
Spam email Report it to the Australian Cyber Security Centre
Taxation offences Report it to the Australian Taxation Office
Terrorism If you have information about possible signs of terrorism you should contact the 24 hour National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.
Theft of mail before it is delivered Report it to Australia Post
Unregistered money transfer (remittance) services Report it to AUSTRAC

How do I report a crime to the AFP?

Report a Commonwealth crime →

You can report a Commonwealth crime online by using our form. This form is intended for use by the general public.

You can also post a written report to your nearest AFP office. Postal addresses can be found on the National Operations State Service Centre page.

You should include:

  • 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 alleged crime

Phone advice

Call the AFP's National Switchboard on (02) 5126 0000 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.


See: National Operations State Service Centre (NOSSC)

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2021-22

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

Policing and community news from the AFP