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Jack’s Law: Police win new powers to crack down on knife crime

Queensland police will now be able to stop and search people for knives without reasonable suspicion after legislation dubbed Jack’s Law passed in state parliament.

Mar 31, 2023, updated Mar 31, 2023
Belinda and Brett Beasley says they are over the moon at the passage of the laws. Their son, Gold Coast teenager Jack Beasley, died after a fight broke out between two groups in Surfers Paradise in December 2019. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Belinda and Brett Beasley says they are over the moon at the passage of the laws. Their son, Gold Coast teenager Jack Beasley, died after a fight broke out between two groups in Surfers Paradise in December 2019. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

The legislative crackdown on knife crime comes after two people were fatally stabbed in separate attacks in the heart of the Surfers Paradise nightclub precinct on the Gold Coast.

In December 2019, 17-year-old Jack Beasley was stabbed to death outside a Surfers Paradise convenience store while on a night out with friends.

Jack was stabbed in the heart after a fight broke out between his mates and a group of five teenagers and he later died in hospital.

Armed and dangerous, his attackers carried their blades on public transport into the heart of the party precinct with deadly results.

Nine months later, 27-year-old Raymond Harris was also fatally stabbed during a Cavill Avenue brawl.

Queensland police can now use metal detection wands to search people for knives on public transport and in nightclub precincts without reasonable suspicion.

Jack Beasley’s parents Brett and Belinda were in parliament for the passing of the legislation created in their son’s honour.

“We are bloody over the moon,” said Brett Beasley in a statement.

“Queensland will be the only state to have these powers and that’s fantastic.

“We can’t wait to see Jack’s Law go Australia-wide because that’s our plan.”

Belinda Beasley said her family was very appreciative of the government and Queensland Police getting the law over the line.

“Jack’s Law is going to save lives and make communities safer,” she said.

Officers on the Gold Coast have already been using the powers to undertake random searches using detection wands under a trial in the holiday destination’s safe night precincts in which 266 weapons wre seized.

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The program will now be extended for two years and expanded to cover all nightclub precincts across the state, as well as all public transport networks.

Trams, buses, trains and ferries, as well as public transport stations, will be included under the new laws.

In a statement Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk thanked the Beasleys for their advocacy and hoped they considered the new law a fitting tribute to their son.

“Already lives have been saved in the Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach Safe Night Precincts by the trial, and more lives will be saved by the extension of the trial,” she said

Police Minister Mark Ryan told parliament the trial was embraced by the Gold Coast community who saw it as a positive step in reducing violence.

“If a person chooses to unlawfully carry a knife in a public place then they are putting the community at risk of serious harm,” he said.

“It is not often that something so overwhelmingly positive for the broader community can follow something so terrible as the loss of someone’s life,” Ryan said.

The legislation was backed by the Liberal National Party.

“There is a real issue and for hundreds of weapons to have been detected during this trial,  one must ask what might have happened if this wasn’t in place,” LNP leader David Crisafulli said.

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