Police will be able to scan people for knives without a warrant in crowded places including shopping centres under new laws being developed by the New South Wales government after stabbings at Bondi Junction, Wakeley and Coffs Harbour.

The legislation will be based on Queensland’s Jack’s Law, which was introduced last year following a 24-month trial of the powers on the Gold Coast, sparked by the death of 17-year-old Jack Beasley in 2019.

The premier, Chris Minns, said the state had borne witness to the devastating outcomes of knife-related violence”.

“I know that many in our community have followed the devastating media coverage and heard the stories of victims and families – tragically, there have been so many recent examples,” he said.

Our communities are still in mourning, but it’s essential that we step up to take immediate action to send a clear message that NSW will simply not accept these kinds of crimes.”

Beasley’s father met senior members of the state government to push for the adoption of the laws in recent weeks, saying they could work like they had in Queensland.

Before being expanded across Queensland last year, a review of the Gold Coast trial carried out by Griffith University’s Criminology Institute found no evidence that the scanners deterred people from carrying knives or had led to a significant drop in violent crime.

It said this was “a very significant departure from normal criminal law and procedure”.

The NSW laws will give police powers to “wand” or “scan” people for knives without a warrant in designated areas including transport hubs and shopping centres.

The designations will be made available where “relevant” weapons and knife crime have occurred within the past six months.

Police would then be given the ability to wand people in the area for 12 hours, with an option to extend.

The NSW police minister, Yasmin Catley, thanked Jack’s parents for sharing their knowledge with NSW and said the strategy had been “making a difference” in Queensland.

View article source here.

Posted in

Subscribe to our free mailing list and always be the first to receive the latest news and updates.