Police threaten action over gun court ban

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Court heads in WA are due to discuss the ban on police carrying guns handcuffs and batons in court, following union threats to advise members to appear in court out of uniform.

George Tilbury, Union President said the union would go as far as to encourage members to appear via video link until the issue is resolved, The West Australian reported this morning.

“I make no apologies for doing whatever is necessary to protect my members as I can no longer stand by and hope that nothing will happen when we know it will,” he said in an opinion article today, adding that WA is lagging behind other states on the issue.

The union has been campaigned for the longstanding ban to be lifted since the terrorism alert for police was raised to high and amid the threat of lone wolf attacks.  Heads of the Supreme, District, Magistrate’s Children’s and WA Family courts and State Administrative Tribunal are due to discuss the issue today.

WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin reportedly wouldn’t comment before today’s discussion.
  • William on 1/09/2015 6:36:59 PM

    It never ceases to surprise me that so many people will not listen to the experts. The junior lawyer and the judge did not listen to the police when it came to Monis. The Judge should have known he/she was dealing with a junior lawyer and should have informed himself/herself.

    We now have judges deciding that they won’t listen to the police when it comes to wearing guns. (As if a Judge would know whether or not it is safe to not allow police to wear their weapons....) Judges are not privy to the covert and secret information provided to police from time to time. To order an officer not to wear a gun could easily expose people in the court room to danger in the event of a high risk of terrorism. It would certainly amount to an alert to potential terrorists when they see an officer in vigorous dispute with a judge about wearing the guns.

    Whilst an incident may not have happen as yet in the court room it is clear that the police have been extremely efficient in rounding up and prosecuting terrorist.

    So far the only Judge that I am aware of that has banned guns is Judge Dina Yehia who has considerable involvement in the Muslim world (I do not know if she is a Muslim or not but I assume she is). With all the other Judges behavior about being biased, sleeping through cases, wielding knives, biased against police it raises serious questions regarding the ability of a judge to over-rule the police when it comes to police wearing guns.

    Legislation to give a judge to right to make a decision to ban guns in Court is unworkable. In the first instance, it amounts to a hazard one way or the other and then the Work Health and Safety Act NSW must come into effect. As such the Judge needs to organize a work safety meeting to consult with the other workers to see if they consent to putting their lives in danger. During consultation the workers need to agree to a plan and it is sure that the workers would in the majority like to hear from the experts (in this case the police). It is unlikely that Judge Dina Yehia even considered the views of employees in the Court room prior to having the guns. (Isn’t that bad faith by her not complying with the WH&S Act? ; refer to section 247).

    In WA they are seeking to uplift the ban; it is clear that there is already a right as a matter of safety to take guns into the Court and support might be found in WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT 2011 - SECT 12E (CW’TH)

  • Louise Steer on 1/09/2015 3:37:10 PM

    I have never been in a situation where guns in court have been required. I have had the protection of AFP officers in certain Family Court cases with violent offenders, but their presence was enough to ward off any potential attacks. Metal detectors and searches in courts have made them safer, and there is no reason why weapons of any kind should have a place in courtrooms.

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