Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NO

From the news today:

WEAPONS SEIZED IN POLICE RAIDS

POLICE will use airport-style metal detectors and carry handheld scanners if the State Government's controversial stop and search powers become law.

Scanners would be set up at major tourist, entertainment and nightspot areas, known troublespots, at concerts, rail stations even beaches.

The proposed laws would allow police to stop and search people in designated areas at specific times without reasonable suspicion.

Police today displayed 85 weapons, including guns, a crossbow, knives and machetes, seized since June, from people either committing an offence or acting suspiciously in Northbridge and the CBD.

Ten weapons were seized in Northbridge in the last 10 days.

Both police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan and police minister Rob Johnson said the display was evidence that a crackdown on weapons was needed.

Mr O'Callaghan said there was a real and growing concern about the number of weapons on the streets.

``We need to do something to make Northbridge and other entertainment precincts safe,'' he said.

``We need the powers to control the number of weapons where the community goes. This proposed stop and search powers will enable us to do that.

``This is simply asking someone in most cases to either walk through a metal detector or be screened by a metal detector in declared precincts.

``We're not just going to go round putting up metal detectors anywhere. They would be at spots where we think we're going to get the best benefits.

``I don't have any specific targets and we won't be making any applications unless it is based on good intelligence.''

Mr Johnson claimed the weapons were just a small sample of the number that are on the streets.
``It is frightening that officers are picking these weapons up,'' he said.

``People deserve to be able to go into Northbridge and the CBD area without fear that someone is carrying a knife or even guns.

``That is a serious concern to me.''

Mr Johnson said searches would be random but if officers believed somebody was carrying a weapon or was acting in a strange or anti-social way they would have the right to search them.

``It will be similar to going through an airport security screen,' he said.

``You're certainly not going to be thrown up against a wall.''

He said the laws were designed to stop ``smart defence lawyers'' arguing not if their client was carrying a weapon but whether police had grounds to stop them.

``I'm not worried about smart defence lawyer,'' he said.

``I'm worried about the people who want to go to Northbridge and the CBD area and enjoy a good night's entertainment without the fear of somebody pulling a knife, a machete or even a hand gun.

``At the end of the day the government wants to make Northbridge and the CBD area an area that families can go back into.

``A lot of people won't take their families into Northbridge these days because they are very concerned at the weapons and the violence that they are seeing enacted out.''


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Now, I don't like Northbridge and I know that there is a lot of random violence there, however I do not believe giving the Police the powers to "stop and search people ... without reasonable suspicion". is the answer.

A better solution would be to allow people to carry and defend themselves adequately.

Oh and if you want to see the photo of the "cache" of weapons seized click on the link.

Here's a map of the Northbridge area. How many metal detectors do you think they'll need to effectively stop weapons coming into the area?

1 comment:

KurtP said...

Don't you have a Constitution over there?

If it's a bad area, just getting rid of specific weapons won't make it any safer for people anyway.