Federal Police should be slapped with new rules for investigating media organisations in the wake of its botched raid on Seven West Media's headquarters, a parliamentary inquiry has said.
And reporters should be given greater protection to keep sensitive materials from police to protect their sources.
A bipartisan Senate committee yesterday handed down its report into the AFP's raid on Seven West Media's headquarters over a rumoured interview deal with drug smuggler Schapelle Corby.
In February, more than 30 officers spent 12 hours searching Seven West's Sydney offices.
The warrants were subsequently quashed and the AFP was forced to issue a humiliating apology.
The Senate's Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee said the AFP should re-train officers how to conduct investigations into proceeds of crime cases.
Police should also give more information to magistrates when applying for search warrants as part of proceeds of crime investigations and detail what efforts had been made to gain the information being sought before applying to make a raid.
Importantly, the probe said the Proceeds of Crime Act should be amended to ensure material subject to journalists' privilege cannot be scooped up by the AFP during a proceeds of crime investigation.
Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes welcomed the report, saying the raids were an "outrageous intrusion on a free press".
"We are extremely pleased that the Senate committee has recognised that the AFP raids on Seven were a complete overreaction to the circumstances and expressed the view that the AFP has not justified its decision to apply for search warrants," he said.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, it is not an offence for a media company to pay for an interview with a convicted offender but police can try to reclaim funds to ensure criminals do not profit from their notoriety.
But in applying for a search warrant, the AFP suggested an offence had been committed.