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Protocol Guidelines

12.3 Protection of personnel and premises

The Department of Home Affairs coordinates physical security infrastructure arrangements for diplomatic and consular premises and personnel in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs liaises with police authorities, security agencies and government departments in the assessment of threat levels, which are the basis for the protective security arrangements that are put in place.

Missions and posts are expected to provide an appropriate level of physical security for themselves, including fencing and other perimeter security measures, entry controls, and intruder and duress alarms. Guards cannot be armed (see also chapter 13). The Australian Federal Police (AFP) Operations Coordination Centre (AOCC) in Canberra provides a monitoring and response service for alarms installed at chanceries, consulates and head of mission/post residences that have been approved for such monitoring.

AFP and State and Territory police maintain close liaison with missions and posts, particularly those subject to threats or recurrent incidents.

Freedom of expression and peaceful political protest are a key part of Australia's system of democracy. This means that, from time to time, there may be protest activity directed at missions and posts. Appropriate efforts will be made to protect the safety and dignity of missions and posts during such protests.

Primary operational responsibility for law enforcement and public order rests with local, that is state or territory police. In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the responsible police are the AFP, ACT Region - also known as ACT Policing.

12.3.1 ACT, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia

Protective security arrangements for missions and posts in the ACT, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia combine high visibility patrols by armed AFP officers in uniform, on foot and in marked vehicles. AFP - Uniformed Protection (AFP - UP) normally provides regular vehicle patrolling of most areas where missions and posts are located. Patrols cover chanceries, consular offices and heads of mission/post residences. In cases of specific threat, patrols may also cover staff residences.

Where necessary, a uniformed static presence or mobile close personal protection (CPP) service will be provided. If there is a specific threat, further protective security arrangements will be implemented commensurate with the threat.

If a threat develops or a security incident occurs, AFP is authorised to respond immediately. In an emergency or an incident requiring a local police response, local police are also notified and requested to attend the scene.

12.3.2 Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory

In Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, local police provide whatever protective security is considered necessary. Normal community policing arrangements apply. These can be reinforced when a situation requires additional resources.

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