New search power to fight knife crime

POLICE will soon have the power to “wand” or “scan” people for knives without a warrant at transport hubs, shopping centres and other crowded places.

It’s part of a package of “commonsense reforms” to target possession of knives, particularly among young people, reduce knife crime and boost community safety.
Premier Chris Minns said that in recent weeks and months, “we have all borne witness to the devastating outcomes of knife-related violence,” and although communities are still in mourning, “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”.
“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.
“We are announcing reform including legislation modelled on new powers for police to search and detect knives in public spaces, based on Queensland’s Jack’s Law, and a commonsense increase to the age limit for purchasing knives from 16 to 18, to make it harder for children to get access to these deadly weapons.”
These new powers will be made available in circumstances where a relevant weapons offence/knife crime has occurred within the past six months and the reforms will include making it illegal to sell knives to a child under the age of 18, with provisions for exemptions for retailers selling to young people who need a knife for their work or study, and increased penalties for people selling knives to young people under the age of 18.
Attorney General Michael Daley said these changes increased police powers, toughen penalties and send a clear signal that it was not okay to carry a knife.
“There are too many young people who think it is okay to put a knife into their pocket to carry out their daily business,” he said.
“The worrying thing is that, if they are open to carrying it, then they are probably open to using it. We want people to stop carrying knives, to leave them at home and to stop using them.”