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frankzappa

Australia : State Police & Policing agencies

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State

Each state as well as the Northern Territory is responsible for maintaining its own police force which is responsible for policing at the state and local level. This involves general law and order, traffic policing, major crime, anti-terrorism branches, water police, search and rescue and in some states transit police. Local policing in the Australian Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory and Australia's external territories is contracted to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

In some states, local governments employ by-laws officers or rangers to enforce local by-laws or ordinances relating to such matters as parking, dog ownership, retailing, littering or water usage. These local government officers are not considered to be police forces as they generally only have the power to issue fines and do not have the same powers as state police. They may rely upon appointment as a special constable or legislated powers for their authority.

Policing agencies
State police also perform certain functions on behalf of the Australian government such as the enforcement of various Commonwealth Acts and regulations in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police and other Commonwealth officers.

While ACT policing is under the jurisdiction of the Australian Federal Police, the following policing agencies are regulated by their respective state or territory government and are highly visible:

New South Wales Police Force
Northern Territory Police
Queensland Police
South Australia Police
Tasmania Police
Victoria Police
Western Australia Police

Sheriffs
In recent years, the states and territories have returned the responsibility of recovering court ordered fines to their sheriffs. In practice, the police often carry out the functions of sheriffs and bailiffs in rural and more sparsely populated areas of Australia.

The office of sheriff was first established in Australia in 1824. This was simultaneous with the appointment of the first Chief Justice of New South Wales. The role of the sheriff has not been static, nor is it identical in each Australian state. In the past a shefiff's duties included: executing court judgements, acting as a coroner, the transportation of prisoners, managing the jails, and carrying out executions (through the employment of an anonymous hangman).

Currently, no Australian state provides for capital punishment. A government department (usually called the Department of Corrections or similar) now runs the prison system and the coroner's office handles coronial matters. The sheriff is now largely responsible for enforcing the civil orders and fines of the court by seizing and selling the property of judgement debtors who do not satisfy the debt, providing court security, enforcing arrest warrants, evictions, taking juveniles into custody and running the jury system. Some state sheriffs can also apply a wide range of sanctions ranging from suspending driver's licences and car registration through to wheel clamping and arranging community service orders, and as a last resort can make arrests.

Local
Council rangers are officers employed by local government areas in Australia to enforce the by-laws (local laws in Western Australia); of those local governments and a limited range of state laws relating to such matters as litter control, animal control, dog laws, fire control, off-road vehicles, emergency management, and parking. Unless they are also sworn in as special constables, as many are, rangers do not have full police powers. Council rangers are also referred to as local laws officers in some of Australia's eastern states. Most Council rangers have the power to issue fines that don't exceed a certain amount.

Edited by frankzappa

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