Australian Institute of Criminology

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Australia is served by eight police agencies: one in each State and the Northern Territory, and the Australian Federal Police who are also responsible for policing in the Australian Capital Territory. The Australian Crime Commission also has a policing role.

The principal duties of the police are the prevention and detection of crime, the protection of life and property, and the enforcement of law to maintain peace and good order. They may perform a variety of additional duties, such as the prosecution of summary offences, regulation of street traffic, and acting as clerks of petty sessions, Crown land bailiffs, mining wardens and inspectors under the fisheries and other relevant Acts.

With the exception of the Australian Federal Police, police agencies in Australia are under the control of the State and Northern Territory Governments, but their members perform certain functions on behalf of the Australian Government, and in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police and other Australian Government officers they enforce various Commonwealth Acts and Regulations.


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