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How the 'Warwick incident' started the Commonwealth Police

Australian Federal Police Officers are preparing to mark the AFP’s centenary in 2017, with Warwick hoping to play a larger role in celebrations.
Australian Federal Police Officers are preparing to mark the AFP’s centenary in 2017, with Warwick hoping to play a larger role in celebrations. File

THE significance of the "Warwick incident" of 1917 to the formation of the Australian Commonwealth Police will be celebrated by the organisation, due to turn 100 in 2017.

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Peter Blundell wrote a letter to Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin in July outlining the event's significance to the formation of the ACP.

"The event occurred as the then Prime Minister William Morris Hughes was addressing a crowd at the Warwick railway station and a man in the crowd threw an egg dislodging the Prime Minister's hat," Cr Blundell wrote.

"Hughes ordered his arrest but the Queensland State Police allegedly refused to carry out the order.

"The first commissioner for Australian Commonwealth Police was appointed eight days later."

Mr Blundell said the council would be interested in developing a larger memorial at the Warwick railway station, and taking up a larger role in centenary celebrations.

Mr Colvin accepted Mr Blundell's invitation, agreeing that the events in Warwick that day were "significant" to both Warwick and Australia.

"The AFP would be please to accept your invitation to hearing of Warwick Council's plans and working with you and the council to ensure this event is celebrated appropriately," he said.

The AFP was formed in 1979 by the merger of the ACP, Australian Capital Territory Police and Federal Narcotics Bureau.

Topics:  history police


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