A rebooted Airport Watch program will be introduced at Gold Coast Airport to target the growing threat posed by organised crime.
It will allow travellers to report suspicious or unusual activity or behaviours.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the program was vital amid the increase in domestic travel and the potential for growth in organised crime and drug trafficking throughout the aviation environment.
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“With domestic travel likely to continue increasing, the public will continue to play a critical role working with police every day to keep their communities safe,” Minister Andrews said.
“We are calling on locals and those visiting the Gold Coast to keep your eyes and ears open as you embark on domestic travel and report anything suspicious.
“If you see or hear something unusual while working at or travelling through the Gold Coast or any of our major airports, please call the AFP’s Airport Watch on 131 237 – it might just prevent a crime and bring perpetrators to the attention of authorities.”
AFP Assistant Commissioner Northern Command Lesa Gale said the AFP had remained vigilant to keep the community safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In November we saw an attempt by organised criminals to import cocaine into Australia through the Gold Coast Airport. A month later our officers uncovered a group attempting to ship methamphetamine from a post box at the Gold Coast Airport,” Assistant Commissioner Gale said.
“The AFP knows crime can be facilitated by trusted insiders. Airport Watch aims to educate those working in and traveling through major airports about what should be reported and how.”
Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the airport team worked closely with federal authorities on airport security matters and the Airport Watch program was a key part of the partnership.
“Airport Watch is an important national safety initiative and its relaunch comes as domestic and trans-Tasman travel ramps up significantly at Gold Coast Airport,” she said.