Terror laws to allow 14-day detention without charge

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New laws to be introduced by the State Government will mean that NSW police will be able to detain and question terror suspects as young as 14 without charge for up to two weeks.

Previously suspects could be detained but not questioned unless they were charged under NSW law.

A judge also needed to renew the orders every 48 hours for the detentions to last.  But the government said this is not enough time for a thorough investigation by police, the ABC reported.

“We have to do everything possible to protect our community from terrorist threats and these new powers do exactly that, by giving our police the ability to properly investigate terrorist plots,” said NSW premier Mike Baird in a statement, adding that the new powers would give police more time to investigate terrorist plots.

New legislation, which was agreed by COAG to be used as a basis for a national model, will mean that after an initial four days of detention, a Supreme Court judge would be able to extend holding time in increments of seven days, up to a maximum of 14.

Suspects can only be questioned for 24 hours within eight days of maximum detention before charges are laid under Commonwealth law currently.

Deputy premier and minister for Police and Justice Troy Grant said police are supportive of the new laws.

“The terrorist threat has become more fast-moving and unpredictable and we need to have the powers to respond quickly and effectively,” Grant said in a statement.