Australian Institute of Criminology

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Sworn police officers in Australia

Crime facts info no. 116

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, February 2006

According to the Productivity Commission's Report on government services 2006, there was a total of 45,201 full-time sworn police officers based in the various Australian jurisdictions in 2004-05. The chart below shows rates of sworn police per 100,000 persons in the six Australian states, and Australia as a whole, over the past five years. Excluded from the data are Australian Federal Police not involved in ACT policing. The Northern Territory and ACT are not shown separately on the graph because rate data are distorted by their small populations, and either low (Northern Territory) or high (ACT) population densities. However, both these jurisdictions are included in the Australia total. Over the five year period the rate of sworn police per 100,000 increased in all states except Western Australia, where the rate declined slightly. However, this decline was due to high population growth rather than declining police numbers; the number of sworn police officers in Western Australia increased by three percent between 2000-01 and 2004-05, while the state's population grew by six percent in the same period. The largest increase occurred in New South Wales, where the number of police officers increased by 10 percent and the population increased by three percent.

Sworn police, rate per 100,000 persons, 2000-01 to 2004-05

Sources

  • Steering Committee for the Provision of Government Services 2006. Report on government services 2006. Canberra: Productivity Commission
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005. Population by age and sex, Australian states and territories 2005. ABS cat. no. 3201.0. Canberra: ABS