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Author Topic: Queensland adopts Australia’s toughest serious organised crime laws 29/11/2016  (Read 517 times)

Prickle

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Queensland adopts Australia’s toughest serious organised crime laws

Queensland will have Australia’s toughest and most effective laws to tackle serious and organised crime after State Parliament passed the Palaszczuk Government’s Serious and Organised Crime Amendment Bill tonight.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new laws will allow Queensland law enforcement authorities to tackle serious and organised crime in all its forms.

“My Government is proud to have delivered a package of organised crime laws that will tackle everything from child exploitation rings to financial fraudster groups and outlaw motorcycle gangs,” the Premier said.

“These laws are strong enough to tackle serious and organised crime, and strong enough to withstand legal challenge.”

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the suite of laws demonstrated that traditional, conviction-based legislative principles can be used to create workable, enforceable laws.

“The Taskforce report on Organised Crime Legislation found the LNP’s laws were unable to secure convictions and remained vulnerable to legal challenge,” said Mrs D’Ath.

“Importantly, these laws are subject to judicial oversight and proper processes to ensure its legal standing and sustainability.

“This government has consulted with stakeholders including the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Police Union during the considered process of drafting these laws, a decision which stands in stark contrast to the LNP’s hastily-drafted and ill-conceived laws.

“I thank all stakeholders who have been involved in the development of these laws, as well the members of the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry (Byrne Inquiry), the Taskforce on Organised Crime legislation and the statutory review of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009.”

Key elements of the Serious and Organised Crime Amendment Bill include:

 New offences for child exploitation for people who:

    administer child exploitation websites;
    encourage the use of child exploitation websites; or
    provide advice on how to avoid detection in gaining access to child exploitation websites.

     Maximum penalty for child exploitation increased from 14 to 20 years; and
    Power for police to seek a warrant to require a person to provide passwords/information to allow access to electronically-stored information.
     Increase maximum sentences for trafficking in illicit drugs with trafficking in dangerous drugs to increase from 20 years to 25 years.
     A new consorting offence making it an offence for a person to consort on two occasions (following a warning on at least one occasion) with two others who have convictions for serious indictable offences punishable.
     A new Public Safety Order Scheme, consisting of three orders:

1. Public Safety Order – empower police to issue public safety orders for up to seven days. Orders for periods longer than 7 days can be issued by a magistrate. Orders issued for periods longer than 72 hours can be appealed. These orders could be used for a wide variety of purposes;

2. Restricted Premises Order – OMCG clubhouses will remain closed under Restricted Premises Orders. Police can apply to the court for new Restricted Premises Orders to stop new clubhouses opening or to close other premises if there is a reasonable suspicion unlawful or disorderly conduct is occurring or likely to occur. It will empower police to search, seize and forfeit specified property linked to specified activities;

3. Fortification Order – requiring an owner or occupier of premises frequented by participants in criminal organisations or who engage in certain activities to remove any fortification that hinders entry to that property. In urgent circumstances police can issue ‘cease and desist fortification orders’ to prevent, for example, an OMCG installing CCTV or reinforced doors to hinder police access, providing time to remove possible evidence of criminality.

     New Serious Organised Crime circumstance of aggravation punishable by a mandatory term of imprisonment, with the length of the additional mandatory imprisonment of seven years where it is an offence that carries a maximum offence of seven years or more. Or alternatively, where the offence carries a maximum sentence of less than seven years, the maximum sentence for the offence.
     New Summary Offence prohibiting OMCG colours in public, expanding beyond licensed venues as current laws prohibit.
     New Post-Conviction Control Orders enables Courts to set any conditions necessary to protect the public by preventing, disrupting and restricting offenders convicted of the new Serious Organised Crime circumstance of aggravation, offenders convicted of the new Consorting offence; and offenders found by the court to be participants in criminal organisations.

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/11/29/queensland-adopts-australias-toughest-serious-organised-crime-laws
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