Police given power to search people, vehicles without warrants during ASEAN summit

NSW Police will be given the power to search people and vehicles without a warrant during the ASEAN summit in Sydney this weekend.

Police give directions to visitors before the start of New Year's Eve celebrations in the central business district of Sydney on December 31, 2017.

Police give directions to visitors before the start of New Year's Eve celebrations in the central business district of Sydney on December 31, 2017. Source: Getty

Sydney police working the Association of South-East Asian Nations Australia Special Summit (ASEAN) will be given increased powers during the March 17-18 event. 

South Asian heads of state are expected to join 500 Australian business leaders at the ASEAN summit. It's the biggest event to be held in Sydney since the APEC summit of 2007. 

Under the temporary measures covering the Sydney CBD and surrounding suburbs, NSW Police officers will be allowed to search people and vehicles without a warrant, but only within the declared zone. People will also be asked to leave the area if police feel the need to do so. 

Drones will also be prohibited from flying in the airspace above the declared conference area - with the exception of military, police and emergency aircraft. Police will be authorised to ask anyone caught flying a drone in the area to immediately leave.

The increased powers will also give NSW police officers the authority to close roads for up to three days and remove vehicles they believe pose a safety risk or are causing an obstruction.

The office of the Minister for Police said the conditions were put in place given the amount of interest in the ASEAN summit.

Minister for Police Troy Grant said the government fully supported the request for additional powers during the summit.

“The security of this summit and the dignitaries visiting from neighbouring nations is of paramount importance and these measures empower police to do what is necessary to help ensure the safety of everyone involved," Minister Grant said. 

“NSW has a strong track record in successfully implementing counter-terrorism measures for major events, and given the nature of this conference and the ongoing threat of terrorism worldwide, these temporary but necessary powers are vital to help police ensure the smooth operation of the event.”

Last week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reportedly signed off on the proposed temporary special powers for police during ASEAN.

The final approval for this is expected to be granted by NSW Governor David Hurley on Wednesday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Published 12 March 2018 at 5:09pm, updated 12 March 2018 at 5:17pm