Committee on Data Retention
Committee on Data Retention

AFP Commissioner quits top job

THE AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin has announced he will step down from his position at the end of his five-year term in October.

Mr Colvin made the announcement this morning after months of speculation about whether he would seek to have his term renewed for another five years.

He is the second AFP commissioner to resign after his five-year term. His predecessor Tony Negus also stepped down after five years.

Mr Colvin said he made the decision earlier this year and informed the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet prior to the Federal Election, and the Minister for Home Affairs shortly afterwards.

"This has been by far the hardest decision of my 30 years as a police officer, but I believe this is the right decision for me, for my family, and for the AFP," Commissioner Colvin said.

"The AFP is a great organisation and we do incredibly important work every day to keep Australia safe. It is with enormous pride that I have led the AFP for the past five years, a time during which we have achieved incredible success against a range of crimes both at home, and abroad.

"Rapidly changing crime types both in Australia and overseas have required the organisation to transform by adopting new technologies and shifting traditional thinking about how crime is combated."

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith

Making the changes necessary to ensure the AFP is 'future-ready' has been another hallmark of his tenure and Commissioner Colvin is proud of the way AFP members have responded to these new and complex operational challenges."

Mr Colvin thanked the Australian Government, successive Prime Ministers and Ministers, the heads of other law enforcement agencies, the Commissioners of state and territory police forces, and leaders in law enforcement across the world who had offered their support and shown confidence in the work of the AFP over the past five years.

He said he will work with Government on a transition plan for the organisation.

Mr Colvin joined the AFP in 1990 and spent the majority of his early career in Sydney investigating serious and organised crime, drug importations, money laundering, politically motivated crime and terrorist financing.

Between 2002 and 2005, he co-ordinated the AFP's national and international response to terrorism, including the 2002 Bali bombings, 2003 Jakarta Marriot bombing and the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing. This was followed a position as AFP Chief of Staff, National Manager of High-Tech Crime Operations and a number of Deputy Commissioner roles.

In 2003, the Commissioner was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to the investigations of the Bali bombings and in 2008, he was named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list where he received the Australian Police Medal.

Commissioner Colvin will depart the AFP at the end of September.