AFP statement on illicit drug contamination

There are media reports today about illicit substances found in some AFP buildings, which contain laboratories for testing.

It is important media reports factually weight relevant information.

The AFP became aware on 22 October 2018 that the AFP’s handling of illicit drugs as the result of investigative activity was resulting in trace concentrations of illicit drugs contaminating some AFP offices.

The low levels of illicit drug contamination recorded in some AFP offices is comparable to what can be found on bank notes or public buildings.

While the AFP is taking steps to make contamination levels as close to nil as possible, we have noted that a zero threshold for illicit drug contamination is unachievable.

Industry experts were engaged to establish acceptable thresholds. A national program of testing was then undertaken which returned positive values at some major operational headquarters.

This has triggered appropriate remediation cleaning at these sites which results in formal certified clearance certificates which have been received for Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Majura. Sydney and Melbourne had partially completed with certificates returned for those areas remediated. Works continue on the remainder of these sites to achieve full building clearance.

Annual testing will now be undertaken across the agency and, where necessary, responsive remedial cleaning will be undertaken.

The issue has been regularly communicated to all local staff via email and meetings, which have discussed the results and addressed any questions or concerns.

The health and safety of AFP staff members is of the upmost importance to our agency and we prioritise our duty of care towards them.

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