Special Tasks and Rescue

Special Tasks and Rescue

Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR Force) is the Police Tactical Group of the South Australia Police.


Formed on 30 November, 1978 the South Australian Police STAR Force was a rationalisation of specialist resources into one command/unit. Specialist units had existed prior to 1978 within SAPOL to deal with emergency situations such as sieges and armed offenders situations [http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/structure/operations_support_service/special_tasks_rescue_group.jsp] .

As in other states, SAPOL decided that it would be more practical and expedient to combine all the skills of various tactical/special units in one unit and to have specialist personnel on duty or available on call, at all times to deal with emergencies.

Further restructuring in 1994 saw STAR Force expand its role to include Water Police and the Coordination of Negotiators.


STAR Force is designed to handle problems and situations which require more concentrated attention than can normally be provided by the General Patrol Police and/or which call for tactics which cannot be used by patrol members in uniform [http://www.police.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/structure/operations_support_service/special_tasks_rescue_group.jsp?text_only=true] .

The unit consists of highly trained personnel skilled in the use of firearms, counter-terrorist tactics, crowd control, crime prevention techniques, underwater recovery, water policing, Close Personal Protection and search and rescue operations. Thus there is available at all times a mobile patrol force to assist other line units in emergencies of any kind, and to act as a support force in crime control operations [http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/structure/operations_support_service/special_tasks_rescue_group.jsp] .

Principle roles

* Search and rescue
* Helicopter operations
* The arrest of armed and dangerous offenders
* Provide close-quarter CPP and related security measures as necessary.
* VIP Security
* Patrol deployment as a crime prevention
* Resolving siege and hostage situations, as well as armed offender situations;
* Riot/crowd control


STAR Group is a branch of the SAPOL Operations Support Service [cite web |title = South Australia Police :: Operations Support Service |url = http://www.police.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/structure/operations_support_service.jsp |accessdate = 2008-09-03 ] , and comprises several sections:
* Operations Section: The Operations Section is reponsible for a number of different tasks including high risk policing, counter terrorist response, search and rescue operations and the supplementation of general duty patrols.cite web |title = South Australia Police :: Special Tasks & Rescue Force |url = http://www.police.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/structure/operations_support_service/special_tasks_rescue_group.jsp |accessdate = 2008-09-03 ]

:Each member is required to develop and maintain skills in weapons handling, high risk policing, counter terrorist standard operating procedures, VIP protection, search and rescue operations, civil disorder techniques and many other functions peculiar to S.T.A.R. Operations. Select individuals within S.T.A.R. Operations develop specialist skills in one key area allowing the provision of helicopter aircrew, marksmen/observers, VIP drivers, Search and Rescue Coordination and bomb technicians.

* Dog Operations Unit: The Dog Operations Unit provides support to operational police through the deployment of trained dog teams. Each team comprises a dog, being either a German Shepherd or Labrador retriever dog and handler.

: Teams are trained to carry out duties involving tracking, searching, criminal apprehension, drug detection and explosive detection.

* Water Operations Unit: The Water Operations Unit is responsible for policing the costal and inland waters of South Australia, through the use of several police vessels, and the provision of police divers, to assist local police in the recovery of bodies or submerged objects from the sea, inland waters and caves. The unit also conducts marine search and rescue activities as the need arises.

* Mounted Operations Unit: The Mounted Operations Unit conducts a range of tasks, including mounted patrols, escort duties, searches of bushland for missing persons, crowd control and ceremonial duties.

:Since the inception of mounted patrols in South Australia in 1840, the Mounted Operations Unit has used grey horses. They are bred and trained at the Thebarton Police Barracks, just outside the central business district of Adelaide. These police 'Greys' as they are known, are ideal for police work as the light grey tones make the horse highly visible at night. They are also highly recognisable in the community and are often involved in community events such as leading the annual Christmas pageant and ANZAC day parade. [http://www.inthelineofduty.com.au/timeline.asp?startyear=2002&iID=812]

* Negotiator Coordinator Section: The Negotiator Coordination Section provides support to operational police by deployment of trained negotiators throughout the State. Under the National Guidelines, negotiation is considered the first option to achieve a peaceful resolution in high-risk incidents and negotiators respond to all types of incidents where their expertise may be of assistance.

* Explosive Coordination Section: The Explosive Coordination Section is the bomb squad of South Australia Police. Responsibilites of this section include the disposal of improvised explosive devices (IED) and other explosive material, clearing explosives scenes before post-blast examination, conducting high risk searches for bombs, explosives, booby traps etc and coordinating responses for military ordnance.

* Training and Development Section

ee also

*Tactical Assault Group
*SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics)
*List of Special Response Units
* National Anti Terrorism Exercise
* Counter-terrorism


External links

*en icon [http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/structure/operations_support_service/special_tasks_rescue_group.jsp Official website]

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