Delivering Security: Building Police Capacity

By Jason Byrnes

From the June 2014 issue of the APJ.

In February this year the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) International Deployment Group (IDG) marked 10 years of operations. Throughout its decade of existence, the IDG has been the AFP’s primary mechanism for the delivery of police development in support of regional security. The IDG’s focus is delivering international programs and missions that improve the capacity and effectiveness of policing in nations affected by instability, violence or disorder. Through the IDG, the AFP contributes to regional and international security, stability and governance.

Just over a decade ago the AFP and the then Commonwealth Government recognised that a greater focus was required on consolidating the AFP’s diverse international peace operations and capacity building efforts. The year 2003, in particular, had seen the rapid deployment of over 300 Australian and international police to the Solomon Islands in a police-led operation to assist in restoring law and order. Planning also commenced that year for a large-scale assistance mission to Papua New Guinea, and extant AFP training and capacity building initiatives were in regions as far apart as the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. With the scale, scope and complexity of such operations increasing, a comprehensive integrated management structure was required including appropriate long-term resourcing. Consequently, on 2 February 2004, the IDG was formally established as a function of the AFP.

The IDG currently has personnel deployed to overseas locations as diverse as Cyprus, Liberia, Mauritius, the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, and Australia's Territories of Jervis Bay, Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

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