Twice as many armed enforcement officers could end up working with the recently established Australian Border Force agency than did with its predecessors.
The ABF is building up a force of 5000 to 6000 officers, with most to be trained in use-of-force operations, Fairfax Media reported on Tuesday.
The Border Force, established by the Abbott Government on July 1, merged the frontline functions of customs and immigration.
It was at the centre of a bungled law enforcement operation planned for the Melbourne CBD last Friday and Saturday, which was cancelled due to public concerns random visa checks would result in racial profiling.
Border Force officers will have new powers to participate in raids conducted by state departments, defend themselves with weaponry and restrain and handcuff people.
There will be a 12 month transition before staff are expected to pass fitness tests, at which time most ABF staff will be classified as “use of force” officers, Fairfax Media reported.