There’s an upsurge of community concern in Perth about how police are using their new stop-and-search powers (which are largely mirrored throughout Australia). WA Premier Colin Barnett has promised to review the powers, so CLA issued a supportive statement encouraging ‘sensible compromise’.
Media Release: CLA welcomes WA Premier’s watching brief on citizen’s liberties
Civil Liberties Australia today welcomed WA Premier Colin Barnett’s willingness to look, on merit, at whether police stop-search powers had gone too far.
“This is a positive development,” CLA Director and spokesperson, Tim Vines said.
“Mr Barnett is reacting to deep community disquiet that there is grave danger in giving police excess powers, without putting some restraining guidelines in place.
“CLA welcomes the Premier’s intervention. We hope that the parliamentary committee will produce a sensible compromise.”
Mr Vines said the problem was not confined to WA.
“All round the States and Territories, since 2001 there has been a pendulum swing,” he said. “Police and security services have been given powers that were unthinkable a decade ago.
“It is time federal and state laws were thoroughly reviewed, to see which of the oppressive pieces of legislation brought in since 11 Sept 2001 have not been needed, and should be repealed.
“CLA calls on all Premiers and Chief Ministers to have the courage WA Premier Mr Barnett has shown to realise that some laws may have gone too far.”