Police & Weapons Control

The Tasmanian Greens believe peace and non-violence are essential principles of an open, democratic society. We recognise that crime prevention, crime detection, punishment, and especially reform of offenders are all necessary for maintenance of community security.

The underlying causes of crime, especially drug, alcohol and gambling addiction, poverty and social alienation, must be addressed in the first instance rather than a reliance on reactive measures or retribution.

There must be integrity and transparency in all policing processes. This requires a professional, highly-trained, efficient, well-resourced and honest police force, able to use even-handed methods when arbitrating friction in a diverse community. There must also be effective means of reducing the fear of crime and increasing public confidence through formal police links with community groups and business organisations and a network of liaisons designed to bring about a highest level of community support and respect that an effective police force deserves. Checks and balances must be inherent in the system to improve human rights and administrative performance. To boost public confidence in the integrity of our police force, the Greens believe an independent external review body for police complaints should be established.

The Tasmanian Greens believe that because our state has well-defined processes of social and criminal justice, public order and safety, there is a limited need for the individual ownership of firearms and other weapons.

In our community, there is no need for individual ownership of weapons in order to ensure personal safety. The only reason for an ordinary citizen to possess a firearm or other weapon is for restricted commercial, agricultural, recreational and sporting use, or as a registered collector or dealer. Therefore, there needs to be clearly defined and enforced regulation regarding firearm and weapon ownership, registration and licensing.

Measures

Police Training

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. review training programs continuously to ensure ongoing development in professional discipline, communication and community liaison skills;

  2. improve police skills necessary to deal with incidents of domestic violence and child abuse; and ensure appropriate training to deal with people with mental illness.

Police Performance Targets

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. review and implement appropriate assessment of police efficiency;

  2. cease performance assessments on revenue-raising activity such as traffic infringements.

Crime Prevention

The Tasmanian Greens will work to

  1. promote the role of modern police officers as crime prevention advisers, working closely with community groups and committees;

  2. ensure government, police and community groups work together to eliminate hate-motivated abuse and violence against citizens from minority groups, and discrimination in the delivery of policing services to marginalised people and minorities.

Staffing

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. ensure sufficient police numbers to respond efficiently and effectively to community demand;

  2. maintain an appropriate balance between police on active duty in the community and administrative positions.

Police Complaint Procedures

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. implement a two-tiered model for complaint procedures against police;

  2. mandate that internal police investigations will be used only in cases of minor complaints against police, and are dealt with through informal negotiation using trained mediators;

  3. support the establishment of an integrity authority to investigate serious complaints against police officers.

Weapons Ownership and Possession

The Tasmanian Greens will work to

  1. restrict ownership and possession of weapons to those in the community with a legitimate need;

  2. license and register all owners, users, collectors and dealers of firearms and dangerous weapons in the interests of public safety;

  3. strengthen the ‘genuine reasons’ test for ownership and use;

  4. raise the age at which a firearm can be handled to 18 years.

Weapons Storage

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. improve the management, transport and storage of firearms and weapons in line with the Auditor General’s recommendations.

Inappropriate Weaponry

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. ban all high-powered, rapid fire, rapid repeating, or concealable weapons;

  2. further restrict the ownership and use of handguns through legislation and regulation;

  3. enforce a total ban on automatic and semi-automatic handguns for private use;

  4. introduce legislation which severely penalises the carrying of concealed and other hand weapons in public.

Improper Use of Weapons

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. maintain current, and introduce stricter, penalties for the use of a firearm or weapon by any person with any blood alcohol reading, or during illegal or heavy prescription drug use, or after a person has threatened or intimidated others;

  2. inquire into the proper and legitimate use of firearms and weapons by state officials.

Weapons Consultation

  1. introduce initiatives progressively and consult with owners, users, dealers, collectors, police and community representatives prior to all legislative and regulatory measures on weapons.

The full policy is available for download below.