An Exercise in Police Co-operation? The Origins of the Conference of Australian Police Commissioners

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Title An Exercise in Police Co-operation? The Origins of the Conference of Australian Police Commissioners
Author Finnane, Mark; Myrtle, John Ross Hepburn
Journal Name Australian Journal of Politics and History
Editor Ian Ward and Andrew Bonnell
Year Published 2011
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Abstract Research on police co-operation has focused on international co-operation and the challenges encountered on the path to a common Europe. Much less attention has been paid to historical challenges of police co-operation within the boundaries of nation-states with multiple police agencies. In this article we examine the origins of an institutional approach to the problems of policing within a federation. In Australia police commissioners of the various jurisdictions have been convening in a national forum for more than a century. This practice has its origins in late-nineteenth century developments in criminal identification technologies such as Bertillonage and fingerprinting. The inaugural meeting of state police commissioners occurred in 1903 and after 1921 it became an annual event. In sum, we argue that the historical evidence from Australia suggests that the emergence of police co-operation within national boundaries is likely to replicate the patterns observed in the development of international police co-operation across the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
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Copyright Statement Copyright 2011 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at
Volume 57
Issue Number 1
Page from 1
Page to 16
ISSN 0004-9522
Date Accessioned 2011-11-16
Language en_US
Research Centre ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History); Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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