Police gain greater powers to keep Queensland safe

Minister for Police Bill Byrne today introduced a Bill into Queensland Parliament around new laws to equip police with the powers they need to swiftly respond to any public emergencies in Queensland.

“These new laws are about keeping Queenslanders safe in a forever changing environment where the threat of terrorism and violent extremism is a risk we unfortunately have to face,” Minister Byrne said.

The new laws will:

  • Enable police to require any person or organisation to provide information during a declared emergency
  • Create an offence for refusing to provide information sought by police or to give false or misleading information with penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment to apply.
  • Extend the power to search and seize vehicles as they leave or enter a declared area
  • Broaden the power for police to seize things from a person during a declared emergency to include things that person may use to cause harm.

“Personally, I hope police never have to use these powers,” Minister Byrne said.

“But, it’s important to have these safeguards in place, the people of Queensland would expect nothing less.”

Commissioner Ian Stewart said the new laws are designed to protect Queenslanders by equipping our officers with the additional powers they will need in an environment that continues to see an escalating global terrorism threat.

“In September 2014 the Australian Government raised the National Terrorism Threat Level to Probable,” Commissioner Stewart said.

“Sadly incidents both domestically and abroad since this time clearly demonstrate that we cannot become complacent and must constantly strive for ways to strengthen the policing response to terrorism.

“The risk to the public is real and we must respond and adapt to that risk. There is nothing more imperative for police than keeping their community safe.”

 

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