AFP operational successes highlighted in 2021-22 Annual Report

The AFP seized more than 21 tonnes of illicit substances and was involved in more than 300 disruptions across 22 countries in the past financial year, as part of the ongoing efforts to protect Australians and deliver maximum damage to the criminal environment. 

Partnerships with local and international law enforcement agencies have been pivotal to successful operational outcomes – including Operation Ironside - which have been highlighted in the 2021 – 22 Annual Report released 21 October 2022. The AFP’s international reach is assisted with AFP staff positioned in 33 countries spanning 34 AFP posts and seven Police Development Missions. 

The AFP’s key prevention, disruption, enforcement, protection and international collaboration outcomes for the past financial year include; 

  • 21.6 tonnes of illicit drugs and precursors seized, equating to $7.2 billion in avoided harm to the Australian community and economy; 
  • 312 disruptions, which include arrests, seizures or less obvious strategies, were recorded across 22 countries, including Australia;
  • $38.9 million in benefit to the economy from successful financial investigations; 
  • Operation Ironside, the largest organised crime operation in the Southern Hemisphere, which with the assistance from law enforcement partners; 
  • The charging of 221 people by the AFP as a result of child exploitation investigations; 
  • 16 people charged as a result of terrorism investigations by the AFP and its domestic partners; 
  • Providing full-time close protection to high office holders and ensuring the safety of 53 significant visits by Commonwealth dignitaries; 
  • Safeguarded nine designated airports, with airport police and protective service officers responding to 16,073 incidents; 

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the AFP continued to adapt to the evolving criminal landscape.

“The AFP has delivered high levels of organisational agility, innovation and partnerships – with partners in Australia and around the world - to ensure the safety of the Australian community,” Commissioner Kershaw said.  

“We continue to invest in cutting-edge policing capabilities to deliver a strong and resilient organisation, despite the challenging conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and global economic and security environment.”

In 2021- 22, the AFP increased its frontline workforce with 237 police and protective service officer graduates across 11 programs.  

“We also continue with the prosecution phase of our biggest organised crime operation, Operation Ironside,” Commissioner Kershaw said.  

“In the past financial year, the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) successfully restrained $138.2 million of illicit assets from criminals. The funds were placed into the Commonwealth’s Confiscated Assets Account and redistributed into crime prevention programs and other community safety initiatives. 

“In 2021 – 22, the AFP recorded 312 domestic and international disruptions. This included the seizure of more than 20 tonnes of illicit drugs overseas with the assistance of the AFP, which equated to $6.8 billion avoided harm to the Australian community,” Commissioner Kershaw said. 

“The AFP will continue to undertake innovative initiatives to drive change and protect Australians and the Australian community.”  

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2021-22

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