Canberra Liberals call for ‘Jack’s Law’ to be considered to reduce knife-related violence


The Canberra Liberals will move a motion calling on the ACT Government to consider increased powers for ACT Policing consistent with ‘Jack’s Law’.

‘Jack’s Law’ refers to legislation passed in Queensland, which granted police powers to use metal detection wands on people without reasonable suspicion in designated areas.

Shadow Attorney-General, Peter Cain, will move the motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly today with support from Shadow Minister for Police, James Milligan.

New South Wales has also committed to introducing ‘Jack’s Law’ reforms with bipartisan support following the tragic Bondi Junction and Wakeley Church stabbing incidents.

“These laws are a sensible and measured way to improve community safety and expand the responsiveness of ACT Policing,” Mr Cain said.

“The evidence suggests that the existing scheme to frisk and search for weapons on people is informed by outdated legislation, exposing police to risk of sustaining a needle stick or similar injuries.

“Ordinary frisk searches are also more intrusive and less human rights compliant than the proposed reforms.

“New South Wales have already committed to these common-sense reforms, the ACT should follow suit to remain ever-vigilant of the risks of knife-related violence,” Mr Cain concluded.

Shadow Minister for Police, James Milligan, said these reforms must be considered due to recent events that have occurred in the ACT, notably the fatal Civic nightclub stabbing in 2020 and the non-fatal ANU stabbing incident in 2023.

“These new laws could be deployed in designated areas at high risk of violence, such as nightclubs, public transport hubs and shopping centres.

“The AFP Association voiced strong support for introducing the use of authorised detection wands in the ACT.

“The Canberra Liberals will always back the police and ensure that they have the resources and capabilities to effectively protect and serve the community,” Mr Milligan concluded.