Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

NSW Labor Rejects Giving Police Necessary Powers


The Minns Labor Government voted down NSW Coalition amendments that would have improved the effectiveness of Jack’s Law by giving NSW Police powers to wand people for concealed knives at any time in any place.

Chris Minns legislation only allows wanding in designated areas if a specified criminal offence occurred there in the past 12 months, and only for a short 12-hour period. The Bill’s definition of ‘designated areas’ does not even expressly include public places like schools.

Shadow Attorney General Alister Henskens said that because NSW Police have to advertise the area before they can have a 12-hour window for wanding searches, the whole purpose of the legislation could be thwarted.

“It is incredibly disappointing to see the Minns Labor Government vote against amendments that would enhance community safety and give the NSW Police the powers they need to get knives off our streets,” Mr Henskens said.

“The Minns Government’s excessive constraints makes the Bill largely unworkable, and won’t allow Police to act in a proactive manner. Wanding already takes place across many different venues - why should a Royal Easter Show security guard have greater powers than our highly trained NSW Police?”

Shadow Police Minister Paul Toole said the Minns Government should trust the NSW Police to do their job, and provide them with the support to do it.

“The laws put forward simply do not do enough to protect our communities from possible knife attacks. Police should be given the ability to perform searches anytime and anywhere,” said Mr Toole.

“Our communities deserve to feel safe, and the Minns Labor Government needs to take action to prevent as many violent knife crimes from occurring as possible.”