The establishment of the AFP in October 1979 was in line with the Australian Federal Police Act 1979. Its functions include enforcing Commonwealth criminal law and protecting Commonwealth and national interests from crime in Australia and overseas.
The AFP is Australia’s international law enforcement and policing representative, and the Government’s chief source of advice on policing issues.
The global criminal environment is complex, borderless and fluid. Criminal groups are active at local, national and international levels. The AFP addresses this complex environment to minimise the risk to Australian interests both domestically and internationally.
The AFP works on a range of law enforcement activities in close partnership with other government agencies, including the NIC, state, territory and Commonwealth law enforcement counterparts and international law enforcement agencies.
Law enforcement activities include counter-terrorism, people smuggling and drug trafficking.
The AFP's areas of focus include:
- aviation security
- serious and organised crime
- preventing, countering and investigating terrorism
- illicit drug trafficking
- transnational and multi-jurisdictional crime
- organised people-smuggling (including sexual servitude and human exploitation) ›
- serious fraud against the Commonwealth
- high-tech crime involving information technology and communications
- regional peacekeeping and capacity building
- money laundering.
The AFP also provides community policing services to the ACT, Jervis Bay and external territories.