Parliament has passed the Palaszczuk Government’s legislation that will strengthen laws applying to new technologies criminals are attempting to use to evade prosecution.
The Parliament has passed amendments to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act that specifically target child sex offenders and other criminal elements who use social media accounts to conceal evidence of their crimes.
These criminal elements are using Facebook and Instagram, for example, to hide evidence of a range of illegal activities including, child abuse, sexual assault, drug trafficking, homicide, terrorism and cybercrime (for example: fraud and revenge pornography).
The amendments make it clear that law enforcement can lawfully obtain any information accessible on, or via, a storage device.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the new powers will greatly assist investigators like members of the world-renowned Taskforce Argos who hunt down child sex offenders.
“The world has changed and we are changing the law to meet new challenges.
“Police will now have the tools to help them keep the community safe, especially vulnerable children.
“With these stronger laws, police will keep the pressure on these criminals.
“I commend the Queensland Police Service for recognising and identifying the changes we have introduced.
“I am pleased that the government and the Parliament has taken the steps to give police the powers they need to target those who would do harm to the community,” the Minister said.
On another front, the new laws have extended the power of police to search perpetrators, under the Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act.
This new power enables police to search a person for potentially dangerous items, prior to transporting them, in cases where police believe the individuals involved in a Domestic Violence situation need to be separated.
This minimises the element of risk for all concerned, including police.
The new laws also make a number of sensible amendments to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act, and Weapons Act.