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Questions that have arisen over time to implement police powers designed to tackle drug crime in NSW

The NSW government has been asked why it took 18 months to introduce approved legislation targeting organized crime figures involved in the supply of drugs.

Most important points:

A two-year pilot program allows police to search drug dealers’ properties randomly.

A two-year pilot was launched yesterday, with legislation passed by Parliament in November 2020, the same day Assistant Commissioner Mick Fitzgerald said a recent spate of deadly shootings was directly linked to the sale, distribution, and importation of drugs into Australia.

Extended powers allow agents to search the homes and cars of convicted drug dealers at any time.

The drug supply ban scheme will initially be rolled out in Bankstown, Orana, Hunter Valley, and Coffs Harbour.

Shadow Police Secretary Walt Secord wondered why it took so long for the laws to pass.

“The government needs to explain. Is this just another example of how they drop the balls on gangs? These laws could have been in effect almost two years ago, and they could have arrested doors and broken into them,” he said.

Mr. Secord said there were restrictions on the laws, covering only a few areas of Sydney.

“Criminals who run these drug gangs are very smart. So I think there is a fear that they will move these activities outside the Bankstown area,” he said.

Police say the legislation will tackle crime across the board, including by Taskforce Erebus, coordinating the investigation of multiple gangland murders.

Once officers have applied with a court to use the legislation regarding a person of interest, they can search the convicted drug dealer at any time if they “have reasonable grounds to suspect evidence of a drug-related crime.” says the police.

The request for a warrant can be made for any person convicted of a serious drug offense in the past ten years.

Greens MP Sue Higginson, a lawyer, said the expanded powers are a “violation of civil liberties”.

“The police are so well equipped and have incredible powers. It violates civil liberties and the principle of innocence until proven guilty,” Ms. Higginson said.

“It is not a law that will make us safer. The police already have the powers to search if there is reasonable suspicion.”

The New South Wales Law Society and the Greens were concerned about the proposed bill.

police powers

At the time the bill was passed through parliament, Police Secretary David Elliott said the laws would help police in their fight against drug crime.

“I want convicted drug dealers and organized crime networks targeting the most vulnerable in our state to know they have nowhere to hide if they’re dealing drugs,” Elliott said.

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research will submit a report on the pilot’s success.

The launch of the pilot follows Rami Iskander, the nephew of slain underworld figure Mahmoud “Brownie” Ahmad, who is shot dead outside his home in Belmore on Saturday morning.

It was the second fatal shooting in a week. Omar Zahed was fatally killed, and Comanchero boss Tarek Zahed was seriously injured after being attacked outside their Auburn gym.

Tarek is still in the hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries for bullet wounds to his head and body.

Police Minister Paul Toole has been approached for comment.

Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.

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