The first armed bank robbery in Australia occurred at Carcoar N.S.W. in 1863 when the Commercial Bank was held up by Ben Hall and his bushrangers who stole a large sum of money. Following that event and the formation of the New South Wales Police Force as such, the Armed Hold Up Squad, as it was known, came into being in 1966 to combat the upsurge in armed robberies where firearms were used. Since then increases in this type of crime have steadily grown year by year. In the late 1970’s the Armed Hold Up Squad consisted of 30 units and the Officer in Charge was a Detective Inspector who was appointed on 1st December, 1978. The remainder of the staff consisted of experienced N. C. O.’s and Detective Senior Constables. All the members were attached to the Special Weapons & Operations Squad consequently being experienced in the use of the weaponry available to that Squad.
Records of all armed robberies reported in New South Wales were maintained within this office for ready use by Squad members or other members of the Force making inquires relative to this type of offence. The Squad worked in close liaison with personnel from other Police forces and Security Officers of the various established Banks and large money carrying organisations.
The Squad was organised to take necessary action where it was considered armed hold ups have occurred and to assist in investigations relative to this type of crime.