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New laws make police powers simpler and clearer

19 June 2014
New laws have been passed giving frontline police officers clearer powers and simpler guidelines on how to protect the public.
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The Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment Act 2014 aims to clarify and simplify complex Police powers and procedures.

Attorney General Brad Hazzard said the simpler laws will make it easier for police to get on with the job of keeping the community safe.

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting police and making the difficult job of policing easier for the men and women of the NSW Police Force,” Mr Hazzard said.

“This new legislation strikes the right balance between ensuring police can do their job safely and efficiently while providing appropriate safeguards for the community.

The 2014 reforms include:

  • clarifying safeguards for people under arrest and/or attending voluntarily;
  • simplifying procedures for police to give information on duty;
  • reviewing police training regarding the use of force;
  • clarifying search powers and crime scene powers;
  • reviewing the use of drug detection dogs and police guidelines for searching and detaining a person during drug dog operations;
  • establishing a code of practice on move-on powers, including the rights of citizens and police powers.

The passing of this new legislation follows recommendations made last year by former MPs Paul Whelan and Andrew Tink in an independent review of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002.

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