The Herald Sun can reveal the Australian Federal Police, which provides bodyguards to protect Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other VIPs, is investigating 496 serious complaints against its officers.
These include 84 allegations of police using "excessive force" while carrying out raids against suspected drug runners or other criminal syndicates.
The federal police also act as local police for the ACT.
Some police were also investigated after allegations they were violent towards prisoners in ACT jails.
Three officers are facing criminal prosecution while the feared professional standards investigations unit - known as the toe-cutters - is investigating 296 claims of serious misconduct.
Several federal officers say the high number of investigations reflects a zero tolerance approach from senior management, led by AFP Commissioner Tony Negus.
"You don't even want to be caught talking about investigations," one officer said.
Police serving in foreign countries such as the trouble-plagued Solomon Islands have also been caught out, with more than 20 AFP officers investigated since 2009 and four resigning.
And in a recent local case, a veteran AFP officer was dismissed after he tested positive for alcohol after an accident involving his police motor vehicle.
Another AFP official - a protective service officer - was also sacked after drinking while on duty.
There have also been investigations into allegations of sexual abuse involving AFP officers in Canberra, although these cases were later dismissed.
Mr Negus has powers to dismiss any officer found to have engaged in serious misconduct.
Twelve of his staff were dismissed in 2010-11 while others have walked the plank in recent months.
Australia's most senior policeman was unavailable for comment yesterday, but the AFP, which plays a frontline role in tackling terrorism and fighting serious crime, said it "does not tolerate serious misconduct" involving its 7000 staff.
Documents released under Freedom of Information show there were 496 category three investigations, which includes breaches of criminal law and "serious neglect" of duty.
A further 107 less serious matters were being investigated.
heraldsun.com.au 27 Mar 2012
More than half the police force should be under investigation for fraud, extortion, and ties to the criminal drug gangs, but never will.
The government can never admit to the true extent of police corruption, as this will not only show the masses a vote of no confidence in the authorities, but also indicate that the government is not in control.
Australia's drug industry is worth an approximate $1.2 billion per month.
A lot of bribes and many highly placed officials are bought in order to let the drug trade flourish.