Australian police to receive funding for hiring biometrics experts

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) will receive a AU$321.4 million (US$237.4 million) funding increase over four years under the Federal Budget 2017-18, which will partly be used to hire biometrics experts and secret online investigators, according to a report by ZDNet.

In addition, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service will receive approximately AU$75 million (US$55.4 million) each for similar purposes.

According to Justice Minister Michael Keenan, the funding will provide the AFP with the necessary personnel and resources to handle the multiple threats facing the country.

The funding will also go towards improving forensics and intelligence capabilities as well as recruiting biometrics experts and digital forensics specialists, such as crime scene investigators, firearms and armoury specialists, forensic intelligence analysts, and operational intelligence professionals.

The AFP is expected to hire up to 300 personnel, including 100 intelligence experts, more than 100 tactical response and covert surveillance operators, and nearly 100 forensic specialists.

“Whether they are terrorists or drug traffickers or people smugglers … [our enemies] are becoming more sophisticated and so our resources, our technologies, need to match them,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

He added that the package is the biggest funding increase the AFP has received in over 10 years.

Previously reported, the Australian Attorney General’s department is planning to add up to 12 million passport photographs to its Face Verification Service this year, which has prompted recommendations from a privacy rights organization to appoint a biometrics commissioner to protect citizen’s privacy.

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