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Organization and structure 2


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Relationship between federal and federated divisions
In a federation, there will typically be separate LEAs with jurisdictions for each division within the federation. A federal LEA will have primary responsibility for laws which affect the federation as whole, and which have been enacted by the governing body of the federation.

Members of a federal LEA may be given jurisdiction within a division of a federation for laws enacted by the governing bodies of the divisions either by the relevant division within the federation, or by the federation's governing body. For example, the Australian Federal Police is a federal agency and has the legal power to enforce the laws enacted by any Australian state, but will generally only enforce state law if there is a federal aspect to investigate.

Typically federal LEAs have relatively narrow police responsibilities, the individual divisions within the federation usually establish their own police agencies to enforce laws within the division. However, in some countries federal agencies have jurisdiction in divisions of the federation.

This typically happens when the division does not have its own independent status and is dependent on the federation. For example, the Australian Federal Police is the police agency with jurisdiction in Australia’s dependent territories, Jervis Bay Territory, Cocos Islands, Antarctic Territory, and Christmas Island. Similarly, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is a federal agency and is the sole police agency for Canada’s three territories, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.

Note that this is a direct jurisdictional responsibility and is different from the situation when a governing body makes arrangements with another governing body's LEA to provide law enforcement for its subjects. This latter type of arrangement is described under Establishment and constitution of law enforcement agencies.

Some federations escalate non compliance with laws with divisional or federal laws which involve multiple divisions within the federation to a federal LEA. The United States for example escalates kidnapping to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In Australia, states liaise directly with each other when non compliance with laws crosses state boundaries. Some countries provide law enforcement on land and in buildings owned or controlled by the federation by using a federal LEA, for example the United States’s Department of Homeland Security is responsible for some aspects of federal property law enforcement.

Other countries, for example Australia, provide law enforcement for federal property via federal LEAs and the LEAs for the division of the federation in which the property is located.

Typically LEAs working in different jurisdictions which overlap in the type of law non compliance actively establish mechanisms for cooperation and even establish joint operations and joints task forces. Often, members of a LEA working outside of their normal jurisdiction on joint operations or task force are sworn in as special members of the host jurisdiction.

National responsibilities
A national law enforcement agency is a LEA in a country which does not have divisions capable of making their own laws. A national LEA will have the combined responsibilities that federal LEAs and divisional LEAs would have in a federated country.

National LEAs are usually divided into operations areas.

A national police agency is a national LEA which also has the typical police responsibilities of social order and public safety as well as national law enforcement responsibilities. Examples of countries with national police agencies are Canada, New Zealand, Italy, France, Japan, Netherlands, Philippines and Nicaragua.

To help avoid confusion over jurisdictional responsibility, some federal LEAs explicitly advise that they are not a national law enforcement agency, for example the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation does this.

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