Chapter Three - People > Effectiveness of Investigations and Complaints Handling > page 10 of 12
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Effectiveness of Investigations and Complaints Handling

Service Police

The ADF has three Service Police organisations with differing roles and tasks:

  • the approved roles of the Naval Police Coxswain Category are policing, whole-ship co ordination, force protection, seamanship and navigation;
  • the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police is responsible for battlefield circulation and control, physical security (including close personal protection, population protection and control and military working dogs), management of detainees and prisoners of war (while on operations) and law and order (general policing and criminal and disciplinary investigations); and
  • Air Force Security Police are responsible for counter-intelligence, special investigations, protective security and law enforcement.
Table 3.33 Service Police Position
Employment group Approved establishment (1) Filled positions
Naval Police Coxswain (2) 221 186
Naval Investigative Service (3) 27 (Investigation qualified)
11 (Non-Investigation qualified)
Officers Total 11 8
Officers in Naval Investigative Service 3 3
Army (4)
Employment Code Number (ECN) 315 (5) 581
ARA - 210; GRes - 371)
(ARA - 200; GRes - 166)
Employment Code Number (ECN) 190 (6) 89
(ARA - 65;GRes - 24)
(ARA - 49; GRes - 13)
Officers Total 87
(ARA - 45; GRes - 42)
(ARA - 56;GRes - 56)
Officers in Special Investigation Branch 8
(ARA - 6; GRes - 2)
(ARA - 6; GRes - 2)
Air Force
Security Police - Total 336 318
Security Police - Special Investigators 30 30
Security Police Officers - Total 30 30
Security Police Officers - Special Investigators 2 2


  1. Australian Regular Army (ARA) and General Reserve (GRes).
  2. Includes Naval Investigative Service positions.
  3. Navy has increased the training liability for the Investigator Qualifying Course from 4 to 24, which will see an increase in qualified investigators.
  4. A number of Army Military Police are posted to non-corps positions. These are positions that can be filled by any Army member regardless of trade and are required for career progression. For Officers this has resulted in more individuals than there are designated Military Police Officer positions.
  5. ECN 315 is Policeman Military.
  6. ECN 190 is Investigator Military Police. Positions filled are by qualified personnel not necessarily being paid as ECN 190.

Investigations are conducted to assist the chain of command to maintain Service discipline. In Australia, arrangements exist to ensure that prescribed offences are referred to the appropriate civilian agencies for investigation in accordance with Defence Instructions. Within the three Services, investigations are conducted by the Naval Investigative Service, Army's Special Investigation Branch and Air Force Security Police special investigators. It is intended that a joint investigative capability be established for the ADF to deal with more serious allegations, particularly where they occur overseas.

For the purposes of this report a case is determined as open while Service Police are conducting active inquiries. Closed refers to those investigations that have been referred to Command or the Director of Military Prosecutions, see Table 3.34.

Table 3.34 Reported Offences (between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2005)
Service Open (1) Closed (2)
Navy 89 255
Army 162 706
Air Force 80 209


  1. Open is defined as Service Police still conducting enquires.
  2. Closed indicates completion of Service Police inquiries but does not indicate that command action has been taken.

Table 3.35 summarises the more common offences investigated by Service Police.

Table 3.35 Types of Offences
(between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2005)
Type Navy Army Air Force
Theft, Fraud and Loss 124 379 103
Assault 62 174 41
Drugs 28 93 7
Other Notifiable Incidents (1) 130 222 138


  1. Other Notifiable Incidents include security, failure to comply with a lawful general order, prejudicial behaviour and other disciplinary related offences.

Service Police investigators receive basic and advanced training on a common curriculum. Training is conducted at the Defence Police Training Centre at Holsworthy and the RAAF Security and Fire School at RAAF Amberley. The curriculum is maintained by the Security and Policing Training Advisory Group and meets civilian accreditation standards.

The Defence case management system, known as the Defence Policing and Security management system, is currently undergoing an upgrade to allow it to better meet ADF needs.

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