From today's news:
'Abandon Stop and Search' laws - MPs
CONTROVERSIAL stop and search powers for police should be immediately abandoned, the majority of a parliamentary committee investigating the proposal says.
Three of the five committee members - Greens MP Alison Xamon, Nationals MP Mia Davies and Labor MP Sally Talbot - recommended the proposed legislation "should not proceed in any form".
Ms Xamon said the proposal was "deeply flawed" and "the sheer level of imposition on the civil rights of innocent citizens could simply not be justified".
But the committee has also recommended a series of proposed amendments.
Ms Xamon said: “Clearly this is legislation which never should have gotten this far".
"There has been an appalling lack of attention to appropriate safeguards, no costings or provision for additional resources, and no clear evidence as to its effectiveness in preventing crime," she said.
“The Premier has repeatedly made the claim that in practice this legislation would only result in people needing to walk through “electronic arches” or being subject to electronic “wanding” but the evidence shows this to be completely false with no such arches being available, the police having an inadequate number of electronic “wands” and no additional funding being allocated to enable any more equipment to be purchased.
"As such, all those subject to arbitrary search will be required to submit to the far more intrusive “pat down” searches enabled by the Bill.
“The massive majority of submissions received were against the legislation with only the Police Union in favour. And a considerable part of the concerns raised centered around the potential for the abuse of power by the police.
"As we have seen in recent times, there is already considerable concern about the conduct of some of our Police Officers with their existing powers. As such, the wisdom of giving even more power has to be seriously questioned.
"Certainly the Committee found that the current requirement for the police to hold a “reasonable suspicion” in order to stop and search someone was not an onerous threshold and contained essential safeguards.”
Ms Xamon also warned that the evidence examined by the committee "casts serious doubt over assertions that certain rates of crime are on the increase".
"In contrast the police themselves admitted that programs and strategies that address the root causes of crime had been working," she said.
"Clearly this is where we should be putting our efforts, not in subjecting innocent citizens to arbitrary violations of their rights.
"Even though the committee has attempted to propose amendments to ameliorate the worst impacts of the stop and search powers there is no escaping the fact that this is deeply problematic and flawed legislation which the committee majority determined should in no way proceed.
"The Premier and the Police Minister should immediately withdraw the legislation and stop their attempts to promote simplistic, populist and ill-thought out legislation."
Opposition police spokeswoman Margaret Quirk said the "shambolic" legislation must be scrapped following the committee's damning report.
"A majority of the committee found there was no justification for the laws and the entire Committee, including Government members, found the Bill could not proceed in its current form," she said.
"The committee made so many recommendations for changes that the whole thing will be a complete debacle if the Barnett Government tries to proceed.
"Even the Government’s own members have found that the Bill is a mess. It requires so many substantial changes that it simply cannot proceed.
"The Barnett Government must scrap its stop and search legislation entirely."
Let's hope they do ....