An LNP Government will lead a push for new laws and expanded police powers in response to a series of shocking stabbings and knife violence.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington today committed to asking the Queensland Law Reform Commission to review and propose new laws to empower police and protect the community if her party wins this month’s state election.
Ms Frecklington today joined the family of Jack Beasley, who was fatally stabbed in Surfers Paradise last year, and said doing nothing was not an option.
“Knives can maim and murder and there is no place for this violence in our communities,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The surge in knife crimes in Queensland must be stopped.
“More needs be done to prevent people carrying knives in the first place, not simply respond when knife crime occurs.
“Families will grieve the death of a loved one for a lifetime because a decision was made by someone to attack someone with a knife.
“I will ask the law reform commission to look at new laws, including empowering police in crime hotspots with greater search powers to detect knives being carried in the community as weapons.
“Combined with these tougher laws, targeted education campaigns will be launched to stop youths from carrying knives.
“The message to young people needs to be loud and clear - they shouldn’t put lives at risk.
“I want to tackle this escalation in knife crime before it becomes a crisis and more families are torn apart.”
According to data released by the Queensland Police Service to the ABC in 2019, there had been a 40 per cent increase in the use of knives as the weapon of choice in homicides, manslaughter, assault and domestic violence incidents over the previous five years.
A combination of education campaigns and greater police powers to crack down on weapon crime has operated in the United Kingdom, where knife violence has reached ‘epidemic’ levels.
Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said the LNP would work with the families of victims of knife violence and other stakeholders to ensure Queensland police have all the powers they need to detect and prevent knife crime.
“Our knife violence campaign is on top of the the LNP’s comprehensive plan to crack down on youth crime,” Mr Janetzki said.
“Sadly, youth offenders have been charged with knife-related attempted murder and even murder, but then they’re released back into the community on bail where they are a serious danger to the community.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s weak bail laws often mean dangerous youth are released back into the community where they can go on to reoffend.
“The LNP’s plan to introduce mandatory detention for third convictions and bring back breach of bail as an offence will go a long way to reducing youth crime.
“The LNP will do whatever it takes to crack down on youth offenders and make Queensland the safest place to live and raise a family.”
Mr Janetzki said the LNP would work with the Beasley Foundation and other victims groups in drafting the terms of reference for the QLRC referral.
LNP MP for Bonney Sam O’Connor said Jack Beasley lost his life far too young because of knife crime.
“We need changes to laws and a cultural shift to stop kids from thinking it’s okay to carry a knife,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Jack Beasley should have celebrated his 18th birthday earlier this year, but he was senselessly stabbed to death.
“The Beasley family has been through the unimaginable, but the strength they have shown to advocate for change is an inspiration.
“They want Jacko’s tragic death to mean something.
“The LNP is today making a firm commitment to back the Beasleys and deliver the changes our community is crying out for.”