Last week Queensland Parliament passed Jack’s Law which will allow Police Officers additional powers to help combat knife crime across Queensland.
Jack’s Law is name after Jack Beasley a 17 year old boy who was stabbed to death in 2019.
As of Sunday 2 April 2023, the law has come into effect, that date of Jack’s birthday.
The Laws are an expansion of the 2021 Trial which saw Police Officers on the Gold Coast using methods to locate weapons on individuals in Safe Night Precincts.
Queensland Police for a 2 year period will now be permitted to search people without reasonable suspicion using hand-held metal detectors. This will be permitted in all Safe Night Precincts, on public transportation vehicles and at public transport stations.
The intention is for the new laws to reduce the number of knife-crimes and serious violent offences occurring in the safe night precincts especially. Police will not need to have formed a suspicion that an individual has a weapon or knife on them, they will be permitted to stop anyone within the permitted areas and complete the search.
There have been safeguards implemented to ensure that the powers are not being abused by Officers. A senior officer must approve a scanning operation prior to it’s commencement. The operation can only run for a maximum of a 12 hour period, and within the past six months a particular offence must have been committed, triggering the need for the operation to be undertaken.
The offences which will be a trigger point can include any offences involving a knife or weapon, particularly an assault charge where the offender was armed with a knife or weapon.
All officers must have their body worn cameras activated whilst conducting the searches which will mean the searches are caught on both body worn cameras and on CCTV cameras in the areas.
Queensland is the first state to introduce Jack’s Law, however Jack’s parents intend to campaign for the laws to be introduced in all States and Territories in Australia.
If caught carrying a knife in a public place, you will be charged with possessing a knife in a public place and you risk up to a $5,750 fine and/or one year imprisonment as the penalty for the offence.
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