'This is keeping Australians safe': PM hands $321m to AFP

The prime minister says the Australian Federal Police's funding boost will add about 300 extra specialist officers to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and people smugglers.

Australian Federal Police

File image. Source: AAP

The federal government will hand the Australian Federal Police a $321 million funding boost as it moves to bolster the nation's defences against the increasing threat of terrorism.

The multi-million-dollar package, to be announced in Tuesday's budget, will be the biggest Commonwealth funding injection to the AFP in a decade.

"Whether they are terrorists or drug traffickers or people smugglers, and of course all of those crimes and many others are linked, they are becoming more sophisticated," Prime Minister Turnbull told the media in Canberra.

"Our resources, our technologies, need to match them, and that's why we are making this historic investment."

The cash splash will provide for an additional 100 intelligence experts, over 100 tactical response and covert surveillance operators and almost 100 forensic specialists to help advance Australia's fight against crime and terrorism.

The increased funding is the first step in the AFP's 10-year plan to deliver a new vision for the organisation, he said.

"We deal with some of the most complex protracted investigations that this country has and we need to know we have the capabilities to support those front-line officers," AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin said.

"It's about ensuring the future of the AFP is reliant on those specialist capabilities, our forensic capabilities, our technical capabilities, our specialist core capabilities that support front-line police."

AFP funding injection to include more cash for:

- Specialist Response Capabilities: Police negotiators, tactical response officers, bomb response technicians and canine resources specialising in drug, cash and explosive detection

- Covert Physical and Technical Capabilities: Physical surveillance teams, covert online investigators, undercover operation members and police technical teams

- Forensics and Intelligence Capabilities: Digital forensics, crime scene investigators, firearms and armoury specialists, biometric experts, forensic intelligence analysts, and operational intelligence professionals.

Watch: Budget cuts leave students in lurch

- with AAP

2 min read
Published 8 May 2017 at 5:34am
By Myles Morgan