The PM Wants To Give Airport Police New Powers, Which Is Going To Get Real Racist Real Quick
No please, give Peter Dutton more power.
The government announced today that it wants to expand police powers in airports, allowing them to ask anyone for ID without a reason. They’ll also be allowed to ask people to leave the airport without a reason, and people are worried that this is all going to get pretty racist real quickly.
Turnbull said today that the new law is intended to make our airports more secure. On 3AW radio this morning, he said that police will look for “suspicious” behaviour.
“The police are being trained to observe behaviour. They place very close attention to people who are looking anxious or creating a suspicious environment,” he said.
There’s no law in Australia that requires you to carry an ID, but Turnbull thought that wouldn’t be a big deal.
“You don’t have to [carry ID], there’s no law that requires you to, but it’s hard to think of anyone that wouldn’t have some ID and wouldn’t be able to say a bit about themselves.”
But many are already questioning whether the new law would give police more room to suspect people of colour of wrongdoing. Under the current laws, police need to actually suspect someone has or will commit a serious offence to ask for ID — under the new system, they’ll be empowered to just ask anyone they deem “suspicious”.
Media: Police will be able to just demand ID?
Turnbull: Yes, dangerous times.
Media: But Australians won't be required to carry ID?
Turnbull: Australia isn't a police state.
Media: What happens if police demand ID and you're not carrying it?
Turnbull: What colour is this person?
— Seano [-0-] (@SeanBradbery) May 15, 2018
I foresee this new police power being used indiscriminately against all travellers regardless of race or background https://t.co/PrjwRD5DpI
— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) May 15, 2018
The proposed change comes days after the government announced a $294 million boost to airport security.
It’s part of a security package that will also include an increase in body scanners at airports. The government has said they want 94 percent of passengers to go through these scanners. They also hope to implement a program that scrutinises baggage more closely.
Speaking at Melbourne Airport, immigration minister Peter Dutton said that the law would address an “anomaly and a deficiency in the law”.
“There’s certain conditions that need to be met at the moment before police can ask for that identification, which is an absurdity, and it is an issue the police have raised with us,” he said.