A Queensland Police Service (QPS) trial aimed at to detecting weapons and addressing violence in the State’s night precincts is to be extended for another two years.
The trial of ‘wanding’ powers will be expanded to all night precincts, public transport modes and associated public transport infrastructure.
The trial, an Australian-first, began on the Gold Coast in May 2021 and resulted in almost 500 offenders being charged.
Minister for Police and Corrective Services, Mark Ryan welcomed the extension of the trial.
“I fundamentally believe that these powers will save lives and reduce violence on our streets,” Mr Ryan said.
“We are always looking at ways to provide our police with stronger legislation and better tools and resources to do their jobs, and better protect the community.”
He acknowledged the work of Brett and Belinda Beasley, from the Jack Beasley Foundation, for their advocacy around the extension of wanding powers to assist the QPS.
The Gold Coast Safe Night Precinct trial resulted in 197 weapons being seized and almost 16,800 people wanded.
Weapons included knives, knuckle-dusters, a screw driver and an axe.
Mr Ryan said the results highlighted the success of wanding in leading to fewer weapons on Queensland streets, while Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, Mark Wheeler said QPS officers were looking forward to the trial’s extension.
“This is something the QPS has asked the Government for, and we will work carefully with the Government during the extension of this trial,” Deputy Commissioner Wheeler said.
“There is no need for any person to be in possession of any weapon at any time,” he said.
“Anyone who brings a weapon of any description into a public place should expect to be approached by police,” the Deputy Commissioner said.