The Federal Government has recently announced further protection of the identity security of Australians with the implementation of the Australasian Identity Crime Policing Strategy including the rollout of what is what is known as the national Document Verification Service (DVS) and the establishment of 3 Australian Federal Police-led Identity Security Strike Teams.

Identity theft and fraud is estimated to cost the community $1 Billion each year and there are indications that it is being targeted by organised crime and potential terrorists. A national DVS is to be rolled out with funding allocated in the recent Budget, building on the prototype service trialled over the past 12 months.

This service is to allow authorised government agencies to check key identity documents (such as Australian passports, Australian citizenship certificates, birth certificates and drivers’ licences issued in Australia) presented by individuals applying for high value benefits and services. The DVS will allow on-line and real-time verification with a cross checking function to assist in the detection of stolen or fraudulent documents.

It is understood that Australian Federal Police investigations have revealed instances of the sale of complete identity packages of drivers’ licences, Medicare cards, passports and birth certificates, which offer criminals multiple means to shield their activities and potentially evade detection and arrest.

The strike teams are to be located in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and will comprise staff from the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Crime Commission, the Customs Service and the Immigration Department. For further information regarding identity fraud, please telephone Kevin Dwyer or email

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