Cross-border Policing Deserves Government’s Help

12 May 2010 1:24 PMJann Stuckey

12 May 2010

Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey MP, has called on the Queensland Government to streamline the process to accredit police to ‘special constable’ status after a recent cross-border bashing highlighted difficulties with the current situation.

“Following the recent attack at Point Danger on former Tweed Shire Councillor, John Murray, the issue of adequate numbers of Queensland based special constables was raised, “ said Ms Stuckey.

“Due to separate states’ legislation police officers must train to become ‘special constables’ in order to gain authority to make arrests on the other side of the border.

“Whilst there are a high number of Coolangatta based officers already trained as ‘special constables’ there will always be junior or temporary officers who are not.

“Given the distinct circumstances of adjoining states such as Tweed Heads and Coolangatta, various cross border issues frequently present barriers.

“Policing faces significant obstacles in these instances and that is why the Queensland Government needs to speed up the process for ‘special constables’ as it takes several months from start to finish.

“I understand that both officers who attended this particular assault had applied to be special constables, but were waiting for their paperwork to be processed.

“In effect red tape and bureaucracy hampered Queensland police making an arrest.

“It is wrong to assume Queensland and New South Wales police officers are not stepping up to their share of responsibility with cross-border law and order issues.

“The local Inspector informed me that assaults were down by twenty per cent due to the increased police presence in Coolangatta, however assaults are becoming more severe.

“Cross-border issues should be given special attention and laws changed to accommodate their unique needs.

“To this end I have written to the Queensland Minister for Police requesting him to consider streamlining ‘special constable’ training.

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Media Contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919