ABSTRACT

The governance of policing in Australia takes place at the state and federal levels. Australia has six state police forces (New South Wales [NSW], Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia), two territory police forces (Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory), and one federal police force (Australian Federal Police). All of the forces deal with a full range of policing duties from traffic enforcement and Community Policing to major investigations. According to Fleming and Lafferty (2000), prior to the 1980s, Australian police forces were “structured on authoritarian, para-military lines, [and were] regulated through strict organizational rules and legislation” (p. 155). Today, however, although Australian police forces are still organized along paramilitary lines, as are the majority of police forces in western democratic countries, they are among the most adaptive and innovative of all police forces.