The Australian Federal Police will recruit hundreds of female officers under what is says is a new strategy to “help outsmart serious crime and bring offenders to justice”.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews and AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw yesterday (Friday) announced a new sworn-female workforce target of 30 percent by 2028.
According to the AFP, the aim is to ensure the force is more representative of the Australian community and help build greater diversity of thought and skills in the fight against terrorism, foreign interference, transnational serious organised crime, cybercrime and fraud, and child exploitation.
The minister said a new recruitment website had been launched showcasing successful female role models. This was to inspire young women and girls to consider a career in policing.
More female cops good for entire society
“Increased female representation in law enforcement and national security roles is not only good for women, it’s good for our entire society,” she said.
“My message for any young woman or girl considering such a career is simple: ‘apply’. Apply your skills, expertise, imagination and perspective to the serious challenges we face as a nation.”
Kershaw said boosting the number of female sworn officers within the AFP – and keeping them in the job – was one of his priorities when he was appointed in October 2019.
“Diversity makes the AFP stronger and more successful. Different perspectives, different cultures and lived experiences are integral to a modern police agency,” he emphasised.
AFP also wants more cultural diversity
“The AFP also wants to attract more people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous Australians. The benefit of diversity challenges the status quo [and] it helps with problem solving, especially during investigations.”
Sworn women currently comprise 22 percent of the AFP, a two percent increase since 2016. This includes police members and Protective Service Officers.
Recent research by the AFP found that there was a perception, particularly among women, that combating crime was primarily achieved with physical force.
The commissioner said this was a misconception and should not become a barrier to pursuing a career with the AFP.