Melbourne Airport

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New Airport Watch program launched at Melbourne Airport

Aug 09, 2012

The AustralianFederal Police (AFP) and Melbourne Airport have welcomed the roll out of the national Airport Watch initiative, which was officially launched in Melbourne today.

Developed by the federal Department of Transport in partnership with the AFP, the initiative is based on the well-known community program ‘Neighbourhood Watch’, and allows people working at, or travelling through Australian airports to more easily report suspicious behaviour to authorities.

AFP Melbourne Airport Police Commander John BOURKE said the Airport Watch program will be very well received by all Aviation stakeholders.

“The program will reduce the likelihood of serious crimes happening in our airports, through enhanced cooperation of local stakeholders and aviation partners,” Commander Bourke said.

Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said the AFP plays an important role at major airports like Melbourne.

“We are delighted to work with the AFP on this initiative to further enhance the safety and security of the approximately 100,000 people who come to Melbourne Airport every day. The Neighbourhood Watch program has demonstrated just how successful a cooperative approach can be and with Airport Watch based on the same cooperative approach, I’m sure it will be a success here at Melbourne Airport,” Mr Woodruff said.

The AFP operates at Australia's 10 major airports and provides a first-response capability to potential terrorist attacks, delivering an immediate policing response to crime and disorder incidents, and investigating serious and organised crime.

Airport Watch complements the AFP’s existing capabilities, which include community policing and counter-terrorist first response capability, air security officers, joint intelligence teams and joint investigation teams, bomb appraisal officers and firearms and explosive detection canines.

The Airport Watch call to action is See it, Hear it, Report it. The AFP requests that if members of the Aviation community see something unusual or notice any suspicious behaviour or hear a threatening or unusual conversation, they contact the AFP by dialling 131 AFP.

More information on Airport Watch can be found here http://www.afp.gov.au/policing/aviation/airport-watch.aspx.

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