The Palaszczuk Government will extend and expand a nation-leading trial to detect weapons and combat violence in the state’s Safe Night Precincts.
As part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to deliver better services and keep Queenslanders safe, the Queensland Police Service trial of “wanding” powers will be extended for two years and expanded to all Safe Night Precincts, public transport modes and associated public transport infrastructure.
The Australian-first trial started on the Gold Coast in May 2021, and resulted in almost 500 offenders charged.
Minister Ryan welcomed the extension of the trial.
“I fundamentally believe that these powers will save lives and reduce violence on our streets,” Minister Ryan said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping Queenslanders safe. That is why 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.
“The Government will continue to work hand in hand with the QPS to keep crime off our streets.
“I acknowledge the dedicated work of Brett and Belinda Beasley, from the Jack Beasley Foundation, for their fierce advocacy around the extension of wanding powers to assist the QPS.
“I also acknowledge the work of the QPS and the Queensland Police Union, who have worked with officers on the Gold Coast throughout this trial.”
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.
Minister 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 Queensland Police Service has asked the Government for, and we will work carefully with the State 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.
“Anyone who brings a weapon of any description into a public place should expect to be approached by police.
“The message is clear – do not go into public with any object that can be used as a weapon.”
It is expected the extension of powers will be rolled out early next year. Along with the Gold Coast, wanding will be extended into Safe Night Precincts in:
- Airlie Beach
- Fortitude Valley
- Inner West Brisbane
- Sunshine Coast