Tough new penalties for drive-by shootings

CRIMINALS who commit drive-by shootings will face tougher penalties under new laws passed by the Legislative Assembly today, says Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay. 

Gordon Ramsay

Mr Ramsay says the “Crimes (Police Powers and Firearms Offence) Amendment Bill 2017” introduces a specific offence to capture people responsible for drive-by shootings and provides statutory crime scene powers.

“Under the new laws the offence of committing a drive-by shooting is punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. The penalty for a drive by shooting accurately reflects community expectations for this type of crime,” he says. 

“The new laws also ensure that a particular person does not need to be the target of the shooting, unlike the current offence which requires the offender to discharge a loaded firearm at another person.”

The Bill also introduces statutory crime scene powers to allow police officers to secure a crime scene in a public place or on private premises to preserve evidence in a timely manner. 

“The new laws will ensure that police efforts to secure crime scenes in public and private are un-compromised without limiting people’s rights,” Mr Ramsay says. 

“Police can now establish crime scenes to immediately protect and preserve evidence, but must still seek warrants for searches.

“These new laws bring the Territory into line with other States and Territories, where New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have all provided police with specific powers relating to crime scenes.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman says the ACT government had worked closely with ACT police to develop the legislation.

“The government’s message to these gangs is clear: your criminal activity won’t be tolerated,” he says. 

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