Unions representing a broad swathe of the NSW workforce are calling on the NSW Government to urgently introduce new powers for police to conduct non-invasive knife searches in public. 

Unions are seeking police to have the right to conduct “wanding” searches, which would allow officers to use metal detectors to search people without a warrant. Similar laws were recently introduced in Queensland where they are known as ‘Jack’s Law,’ after 17-year-old Jack Beasley who was fatally stabbed outside a convenience store in Surfers Paradise. 

Kevin Morton, President, Police Association of NSW:

“This non-intrusive search measure will assist our police officers to prevent and disrupt knife-related crime.

“This is a non-invasive scan that is already used at large scale events from concerts to sporting finals, from getting on a plane to walking into the Easter Show. Scanning for weapons is part of keeping the people of New South Wales safe.

“We want to proactively prevent knife crime from occurring. This is not an enforcement issue, but about keeping the community safe in day-to-day life.”

Stewart Little, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW:

“Our members are out there each day in the community and every knife that’s on the streets makes them a little less safe.

“If you’re carrying a concealed knife you should know there’s a very good chance you’re going to get caught by the police. That’s the peace of mind my members want and it’s what their communities want.

"Our members that work in the police, youth justice, and the prison system are appalled at the current incidence of youth knife crime. Something needs to be done.”

Adam Hall, Political Division Secretary, Health Services Union (NSW):

“We can’t have a situation where people put on their jeans and sneakers and casually slip a knife into their back pocket. It’s just not on.

“Health workers have enough to worry about and deserve to feel safe as they tend to patients and keep our hospitals running. New laws are really important. We can’t eliminate risk but we can certainly minimise it.’’

Bernie Smith, NSW Secretary, SDA Union:

“Too many retail workers have suffered as a result of knife related incidents in their stores.
“Our members support better controls on sale of knives and proactive measures to prevent knife related crime.
“The SDA on behalf of retail workers has been calling for measures to support safe shopping districts and this includes non-invasive measures like wanding.”