Media Release: See it, Hear it, Report it – Airport Watch – new program launched
Release Date: Wednesday, July 11 2012, 10:00 AM
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) supported by its aviation partners is set to launch the new Airport Watch security awareness program, which will help to enhance the reporting, detection and resolution of suspicious or criminal activity at all of Australia’s major airports.
The Airport Watch program will be officially launched at Sydney Airport today (11 July 2012) and will roll out across Australia during the next five weeks.
Developed by the federal Department of Transport in partnership with the AFP as part of the Government’s preventative security regime, the initiative is based on the well-known community program ‘Neighbourhood Watch’, and will allow people working at, or travelling through airports to more easily report suspicious behavior to authorities.
AFP Acting Commissioner Peter Drennan said vigilance is the key to staying safe whether you are at home or travelling.
“With the help of our aviation partners, including the Office of Transport Security, Department of Infrastructure and Transport, airport corporations and airlines, the Airport Watch program will reduce the likelihood of serious crimes happening in our airports – and in the event an incident does occur, it will enhance the AFP’s ability to quickly assess, respond to and resolve it,” Acting Commissioner Drennan said.
“Under the new program the AFP, supported by the aviation community, will coordinate the reporting, response and resolution of suspicious behaviour in airports.
“Everyone working or conducting business at our major airports will be encouraged to keep their eyes and ears open and work with us to identify and report suspicious activity or behaviour.”
The AFP operates at Australia’s 10 major airports and provides a first-response capability to potential terrorist attacks, delivering an immediate policing response to crime and disorder incidents, and investigating serious and organised crime.
Airport Watch complements the AFP’s existing capabilities, which include community policing and counter-terrorist first response capability, air security officers, joint intelligence teams and joint investigation teams, bomb appraisal officers and firearms and explosive detection canines.
The Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Office of Transport Security views Airport Watch as critically important in further strengthening existing security measures.
The Airport Watch call to action is See it, Hear it, Report it. The AFP requests that if members of the Aviation community see something unusual or notice any suspicious behaviour or hear a threatening or unusual conversation, they contact the AFP by dialing 131 AFP.
Information provided by:
AFP National Media Team