Police to be given increased airport security powers under proposed laws

Police will have the power to ask for proof of identity at airports and to move on anyone they believe might pose a criminal or security threat, under proposed new laws.

Authorities will also be able to ban suspected individuals from flights for 24 hours.

Introducing the Bill to Parliament, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said while Australia already has strong aviation security, “we need to remain ahead of this very real and evolving threat”.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has introduced proposed laws to Parliament that will boost police security powers in airports.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has introduced proposed laws to Parliament that will boost police security powers in airports.

“We also know Australia is at risk,” he said.

“This was most clearly illustrated last July, when catastrophic consequences were avoided through the disruption of a terrorist plot targeting a passenger plane in Sydney.

“Airports can be a focal point for illicit drug trafficking and gang-related activity which provide pathways for serious and organised crime groups to expand their operations.”

Under the proposed laws, police will be able to check the ID of suspected criminals or security threats and also ban them from flights for 24 hours.

Under the proposed laws, police will be able to check the ID of suspected criminals or security threats and also ban them from flights for 24 hours.

He said while police at airports are currently highly trained, they don’t have the power to check ID unless they can link behaviour to a specific offence.

Current powers are “no longer fit-for-purpose” and the changes were drawn up with federal police, Mr Dutton said.

He said police would not have the power to randomly check ID, but act on criteria set out in the legislation.

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018

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