The Palaszczuk Government will introduce stronger laws to deal with new technologies that criminals are attempting to use to evade prosecution.
Amendments to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act will 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 will make it clear that law enforcement can lawfully obtain any information accessible on, or via, a storage device.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the changes will greatly assist investigators like members of the world renowned Taskforce Argos who hunt down child sex offenders.
“The world is changing and the law must change with it.
“We want police to have all the legal tools they need to keep the community safe, especially vulnerable children.
“With these stronger laws, police will be able to keep the pressure up on these criminals.
“I commend the Queensland Police Service for identifying the need for these changes.
“And I am very pleased that the government is taking the appropriate action through the Parliament to ensure police have the powers they need to prosecute those who would do harm to the community,” the Minister said.
On another front, the new laws extend the power of police to search perpetrators, under the Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act.
This new power will enable 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 will minimise the element of risk for all concerned, including police.
The new laws also propose a number of sensible amendments to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act, Weapons Act and Prostitution Act.