Member for Burleigh, Michael Hart has welcomed the tougher penalties for those who assault or murder police which were passed in Queensland Parliament on Tuesday (21 August).
The Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2012, which provides better protections for police officers and the community, was passed through the house by the Newman Government.
“For too long under the Labor Government offenders who seriously assaulted police were inadequately punished for their reprehensible crime,” Mr Hart said.
“Assaulting or murdering a police officer is an attack on the community and a reprehensible offence and the punishments introduced by the Government reflect their severity.
“The Bill doubles the maximum penalty for assaulting a police officer from seven to 14 years and introduces a 25-year non-parole period for the murder of a police officer.
“The passing of this Bill brings the punishments for assaulting police into line with what the Burleigh community expects.”
The Bill has also introduced a mandatory $5000 fine and two-year loss of licence for drivers who evade police.
“Evading police in vehicles is a dangerous offence that can put the lives of innocent road users at risk,” he said.
“Under the Labor Government offenders who evaded police were given a ‘slap on the wrist’ with an average fine of just $300.
“To make matters worse, the Labor Party opposed the Bill in Parliament. They still don’t get it.
“This Government was elected to get tough on crime and unlike Labor we will not sit idly by and let criminals laugh at authorities or the community.”
Police and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said the changes were a step towards protecting police officers as they went about their daily duties.
“Policing is a challenging occupation and officers face a wide range of risks every day while protecting the community,” Mr Dempsey said.
“While an assault on anyone is a terrible thing, an assault on an officer is a disgraceful act which the Newman Government will not tolerate.
“This Bill ensures the Courts have the power to lock offenders away for longer which will provide deterrents and protect officers in the Queensland Police Service.”
The Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2012 will:
- Double the maximum penalty for serious assault on a police officer from seven to 14 years;
- Introduce a new offence for the murder of a police officer with a non-parole period of 25 years;
- And increases evade police penalties to a mandatory $5,000 and two years loss of licence.
- Increase the non-parole period for murder from 15 to 20 years imprisonment (for a single murder) and from 20 to 30 years imprisonment for multiple murders.
[ENDS] 22 August 2012