The AFP has warned airport passengers that offensive, violent and disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated in the air or on the ground.

In the past seven months, the AFP (Australian Police Force) has responded to 748 incidents relating to public disturbances, intoxication, and offensive behaviour at the country’s airports.

In addition, AFP officers have reported 746 incidents related to passengers carrying prohibited items, seizing potential weapons including credit card knives and concealed ammunition rounds.

AFP officers have also reported a trend of passengers creating public disturbances resulting in ‘air-rage’ due to missed flights, travel delays and baggage issues, along with incidents of violent behaviour outside terminals involving disputes over taxis or rideshare vehicles.

AFP Commander Peter Bodel said the force was committed to supporting airport staff and ensuring all travellers experience a safe journey from their departure through to their arrival at their destination.

“Airport staff are trained to streamline security processes and make sure everyone has a safe flight. It is disappointing when a small number of passengers show violent or abusive behaviour towards people who are trying to do their jobs, so we are urging passengers to do the right thing,” he said.

From March – September 2022, the AFP recorded incidents at all major airports relating to carrying prohibited items; intoxication or offensive behaviour; public disturbance; incidents relating to assault; and smoking in non-permitted areas.

Commander Bodel acknowledged the critical role the public played in working with police to keep the community safe, including in the aviation environment. “We are calling on the travelling public to keep their eyes and ears open as they embark on their travels, not only during these school holidays, but anytime they are heading to the airport,” he said.

Image: Australian Police Force