Border police get new powers
POLICE have welcomed changes to legislation designed to make border policing simpler, but Tweed MP Geoff Provest wants the reform to go further.
Cross-border policing issues are a major issue on the Tweed despite assurances from both Queensland and New South Wales forces of close co-operation.
Police have been criticised twice this year over inaction on alleged bashings close to the border.
The Police Legislation Amendment (Recognised Law Enforcement Officers) Bill 2010, which passed through NSW Parliament earlier this week, will cut some of the red tape that has stopped Queensland officers visiting New South Wales.
Area Commander, Superintendent Owen King said it would greatly assist border policing.
“Officers attached to Queensland Police and Australian Federal Police are regularly called on to assist with investigations within Tweed Byron LAC,” Supt King said. “Examples of interstate co-operation include during a declared state of disaster or emergency, or working on a specific investigation when an incident such as homicide has occurred.”
Supt King said increased co-operation between forces would “greatly assist in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, plus put alleged offenders before the courts, and thereby ensure a safer Tweed Byron Local Area Command.”
Mr Provest said he wanted to see the two forces integrated to an extent where Queensland magistrates could act in NSW. “This is an important first step ... and we need to be able to finish it off to get true cross-border policing,” he said.