Police will soon have more powers to search party goers for dangerous weapons including in Rockhampton and Gladstone.
The State Government is extending the Queensland Police Service trial of “wanding” powers for two years.
It will also be rolled out across all Queensland 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 Mark Ryan welcomes the move.
“I fundamentally believe that these powers will save lives and reduce violence on our streets,” Minister Ryan says.
“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.”
The Gold Coast 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 says the results highlighted the success of wanding in leading to fewer weapons on Queensland streets, while Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Wheeler says QPS officers are 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 says.
“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.