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Campbell Newman promises $22 million boost for police and surveillance in Queensland

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Campbell Newman said the proposals were motivated primarily by the ‘day-to-day fight against organised crime’. Photo: Courier Mail

Campbell Newman’s government has made a renewed pitch on law and order in the Queensland election, promising to roll out more surveillance of organised crime and terrorism suspects, more “rapid action” squads and to provide tablet computers for beat police.

The premier touted the initiatives as “important new components in the war against crime” and defended the effects of his government’s controversial bikie crackdown.

An extra $22 million for police intelligence gathering and analysis over four years, largely comprising extra staff and surveillance technology, would “allow police to go out and get information on the activities of criminal gangs and also, sadly in these uncertain times, would-be terrorists onshore here in Queensland”, Newman said.

But the move was motivated primarily by the “day-to-day fight against organised crime”, he said.

“I stress that protections in Queensland, for example for phone intercepts and the like, and the oversight by people outside the Queensland police service is the most stringent of any Australian state,” he said.

“There is no change contemplated to those laws by this government.”

He said a 12% annual drop in reported crime was a sign of success, but the government’s ambition of “ejecting motorcycle gangs from the state” was yet to be fulfilled.

Asked if recent drug market surveys suggesting no drop in illicit drug consumption or availability in Queensland were disappointing, given the resources thrown at fighting the bikie gangs’ “business model”, Newman said there had been a very significant drop in crime.

READ MORE: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jan/19/campbell-newman-promises-22m-policing-and-surveillance-boost
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