Australia's federal police to receive 240 mln USD boost to fight terror, gang crime

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-08 08:10:17|Editor: Xiang Bo
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CANBERRA, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Federal Police (AFP) will receive a 321 million-Australian dollar (240 million U.S. dollars) boost from the government to expand the force and ramp up the fight against terrorism and gang crime, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said on Monday.

The funding will be given to the AFP in Tuesday's federal budget. In a statement on Monday, Keenan said the money would be used to hire 100 intelligence experts, 100 forensics experts and about 100 covert surveillance and tactical response officers.

"The additional experts will fast-track investigations and lock-up criminals sooner, targeting areas of priority including terrorism, criminal gangs, drugs, organized crime, cybercrime, fraud and anti-corruption," Keenan said.

Later, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the 240 million U.S. dollar-boost was the biggest in a decade.

"This is a very significant investment, the largest single investment in the past decade and it goes over and above what we have already done to ensure the AFP has the resources that it needs to do its job," Keenan said.

"We are living in a very difficult national security environment and we're also living in an environment where organized criminals, particularly those involved in the drug trade, continue to enhance the sophistication of their operations.

"And we need the AFP to be a high-tech organization, with the skills sets available to it, to meet these threats."

The government has said that the cash injection would occur over a four-year period, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull telling News Corp that fighting the threats facing Australia's national security were of "vital importance."

"This struggle against terrorism is of vital importance for our safety at home in Australia," Turnbull said on Monday.