Australia, Philippines celebrate 30 years of law enforcement partnership
Australia and the Philippines today mark 30 years of law enforcement partnership. Since the Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrived in 1984, its work with Philippine law enforcement agencies has grown to encompass a range of activities from combatting terrorism and other forms of transnational crime to training and assistance programs.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said “Over the past 30 years AFP officers have worked closely, cooperatively and successfully with their Philippine counterparts.”
“Australia will continue to engage with the Philippines on law enforcement issues. Together, we are strengthening resilience to criminal activities and disrupting illegal operations both here in the Philippines and across the broader Asia-Pacific region.”
Key milestones over the past 30 years include:
- AFP support and assistance in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, which included the deployment of Federal Agents from the AFP’s Manila office and Australia to assist with recovery efforts. In addition, several Philippine National Police (PNP) officers in Tacloban after the typhoon had been trained in Australia in crisis management and command and control. Australia also provided hand-held radios for critical communications support.
- Training by AFP officers in both Australia and the Philippines for more than 1,200 Philippine law enforcement officers across various disciplines, including applied management, intelligence reporting and analysis, investigations management (including multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency investigations), surveillance, hostage negotiation, counter-terrorism and critical incident management
- The provision of support and advice in relation to child exploitation investigations
- Establishment of explosive laboratories and Bomb Data Centres at the PNP’s Camp Crame headquarters and the Mindanao Area Police Intelligence Office
- Donation of computerized facial imagery recognition software (Facefit), which produces more realistic images of crime suspects in less time than traditional, hand-drawn sketches
- Technical assistance and support across a range of law enforcement activities
- Over Php400 million worth of equipment and buildings have been provided to Philippine Law Enforcement Agencies, in addition to training and capacity building activities.
The anniversary will be marked by a joint reception at Camp Crame in Quezon City, hosted by the AFP and PNP.
Ambassador Tweddell said “Australia and the Philippines will continue to value the law enforcement links between our two nations, which reflect the importance of regional and bilateral partnerships in addressing security challenges and disrupting criminal activity.”
“We realise that transnational crime can only be addressed effectively through cross-border cooperation. And we share the belief that members of both our national law enforcement agencies will benefit from sharing experiences, knowledge and expertise. The successes of Australian and Philippine law enforcement operations to date have been based on trust, mutual respect and common interests. We look forward to continuing to work cooperatively into the future.”