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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 CMC reviews use of police move-on powers — 21.12.2010
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 CMC reviews use of police move-on powers — 21.12.2010
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 CMC reviews use of police move-on powers — 21.12.2010

CMC reviews use of police move-on powers — 21.12.2010

Police move-on powers should be retained, but the threshold for moving people on in public spaces should be raised, according to a Crime and Misconduct Commission review tabled in state parliament today.

CMC Deputy Director, Research, Dr Rebecca Denning, says the current legislation is broad and, coupled with the highly discretionary nature of the powers, may lead to confusion and uncertainty when applying the law.

‘This has the potential to adversely affect those who use public spaces, particularly marginalised groups such as young people, the homeless, and Indigenous people,’ Dr Denning said.

‘We have made 11 recommendations, including restricting the use of move-on powers to behaviour. This means that the powers can no longer be used against a person for merely being present in a public space.’

‘The report also calls for increased focus on providing police with more guidance and decision-making tools to reduce the possibility that the powers will unfairly affect marginalised groups.’

‘However, move-on powers alone are not the answer to ensuring community safety in public spaces. The CMC acknowledges that public order policing is complex.’

‘The CMC’s review raises concerns about the lack of emphasis on the use of informal conflict resolution methods, such as persuasion and mediation. The focus of police should be on ensuring the least punitive policing options are selected to match the conduct, with arrest the last resort,’ Dr Denning said.

‘The ultimate goal of policing public space is to safeguard the community. Move-on powers are valued as a preventative measure. When used effectively, police have the capacity to divert people away from the criminal justice system.’

‘However, our review raises some concerns that Indigenous people are being drawn into the criminal justice system by failing to comply with a move-on direction.’

‘We expect that our recommendations will go some way towards balancing community safety and the rights of all to access public space,’ Dr Denning said.

Other recommendations include:
• the state government appoint a Public Order Advisory Panel, reporting to the Police Minister on use and impact of public order policing;
• police improve data collection methods in their use of the powers and provide a written move-on direction;
• a person who is issued with a move-on direction be required to provide their name and address to police.

The CMC review also showed a steady increase in the use of move-on powers, but this was likely to be associated with the geographical expansion of the power across Queensland rather than overzealous policing.

The QPS was first handed the powers in 1997, with use initially restricted to certain geographical locations. This was expanded to all public spaces statewide in 2006.

The review of police move-on powers complements the CMC’s 2008 report on its review of the public nuisance offence. Visit our website for a copy of the Police move-on powers: a CMC review of their use and an accompanying data report.


 

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Shelley Thomas, Communications Officer
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Leanne Hardyman, Media Adviser
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Last updated: 21 May 2013
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