“CRIMINAL backwash” from across the Queensland border is the motivation behind a campaign for greater police powers by Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
In parliament, Mr Provest said he had noticed a decrease in local crime under the rule of Tweed Byron Commander Superintendent Stuart Wilkins, but that police needed increased powers to stem the flow of crime from across the border.
“At times one feels like putting up a fence to stop the Queenslanders coming over, but of course that is not possible,” Mr Provest said.
His comments came in support of the Summary Offences Amendment (Intoxicated and Disorderly Conduct) Bill.
Police having the power to slap a charge on those asked to move on more than once for intoxicated and disorderly behaviour would help combat alcohol-fuelled incidences after pubs and clubs closed their doors, Mr Provest said.
“This legislation is partly the result of extensive discussion with police officers and representatives of the Police Association in the Tweed electorate who support this legislation,” Mr Provest said.
“They (police) do not want to have to mollycoddle people who engage in anti-social behaviour on the streets.”
Mr Provest said the legislation would give police the tools and resources they needed to do the job.
“We cannot send them out onto the streets with one hand tied behind their back,” he said.
The legislation would make it an offence for an intoxicated or disorderly person given a move on direction by a police officer to be intoxicated and disorderly in another public place within six hours of the initial direction.
It would allow police to issue penalty notices for the offence and detain intoxicated persons.
Mr Provest said empowering the police force would empower the community.
“Our communities want police officers to have adequate powers to look after them and crack down on antisocial behaviour,” he said.
“They want to be able to walk down the streets and feel protected.
“This legislation is all about giving police the powers they need and responding to community needs.”
The legislation is awaiting the assent of the Governor.
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