New NSW police powers are dangerously broad

17th May 2022

Extraordinary new powers given to NSW police which allow them to search an individual and their home without a warrant are too broad and lack appropriate oversight, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

The Drug Supply Prohibition Order scheme will roll out across Bankstown, Dubbo, Hunter Valley and Coffs Harbour.

“This is dangerous legislation because the threshold for exercising these powers is so low,” said Greg Barns SC, national criminal justice spokesperson, ALA.

“These laws could be used to harass individuals, particularly Indigenous people and other vulnerable and marginalised members of the community.  

“The lack of judicial oversight in very concerning, and adds to the ongoing expansion of police powers that can be used without proper legal oversight. Adequate powers already exist to search and seize items related to drug activity. These new powers are too broad and are unnecessary.

“Extra police powers will do little to help the problem of drug supply, drug use and crime in NSW.

“The quicker we move from the current emphasis on law enforcement to solve these problems and focus on the broader health and social issues associated with the harmful use of drugs, the more lives will be saved.”

Tags: NSW police powers drugs drug search