The Baird Government today announced tough new powers to give police the upper hand in the fight against organised crime, including UK-style Serious Crime Prevention Orders to disrupt the activities of serious criminals.
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres said the package also included new laws to ban would-be troublemakers from attending places or events.
“Police need powers to respond quickly and effectively to organised crime – this package delivers,” Mr Baird said.
“We want to close the loopholes that serious criminals exploit to continue their criminal behaviour.”
Under the package, the Baird Government will:
· Introduce Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPO), to restrict the activities of persons or businesses that are involved in serious crime.
· Allow senior police to issue temporary Public Safety Orders (PSO), to prevent people from attending places or events where they are expected to engage in violence or present a serious threat to public safety or security.
· Improve our ability to confiscate the assets of serious criminals.
· Enhance money laundering offences regarding dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Mr Ayres said criminals who break the new SCPOs or PSOs will face up to five years’ in jail.
“Through the outstanding work of the NSW Police Force, all major categories of crime are either steady or falling for the first time since 1989,” Mr Ayres said.
“We will keep giving police the powers they need to keep the community safe.
“This package ensures organised criminals will get no respite in NSW.”
Serious Crime Prevention Orders are used successfully in the UK to prevent or disrupt involvement in serious crimes, and:
· Can be issued by the Supreme Court where the Court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person or business is involved in a serious crime related activity, or by the District Court if a person has already been convicted of a serious offence.
· Will include prohibitions or requirements that the Court considers appropriate to prevent, or disrupt involvement in serious crime.
· Will last for a maximum of five years, with a breach punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine.
The Baird Government will empower senior police to issue Public Safety Orders to would-be violent troublemakers if they pose a serious risk to public safety, preventing them from attending a place or event for a specified period.
Failure to follow these orders could land offenders in jail for up to five years.
We will streamline the process to confiscate property used in serious criminal activity by ensuring that even if a criminal has used somebody else’s property, an offender’s property of the same value can be seized through new substitution orders.
We will also make it easier to bring proceedings to confiscate property that is legally owned by a criminal, but is being used for a serious crime-related activity.
The property will be sold off and half the proceeds allocated to the NSW Victims Support Fund and half to future crime-fighting initiatives.