The Daily Liberal
NSW Police Minister Troy Grant says an agreement allowing police to wear guns in court is close to being finalised.
Mr Grant defended the state’s judiciary following an attack by Police Association of NSW president Scott Weber over its refusal to allow officers to carry guns in courtrooms.
Mr Grant denied talks had stalled, saying he supported a call for police to be fully armed as the criminal landscape had changed with a heightened terror threat.
“It’s also for the protection of the judicial officers themselves and everyone in the community who is in and around those courts,” he said.
The comments follow the association’s accusations of a stalemate with the judiciary and Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton.
The Police Association of NSW again called on the NSW Police Commissioner to step in to help resolve an ongoing issue.
The association says stakeholders in control of courts and court security who are “refusing to change the current protocol” have not consulted the union on the issue.
“We are appealing to the Commissioner of Police to resolve this issue and direct his officers and our members to cease this unsafe working practice,” Mr Weber said.
“We are asking our members who are required to attend court to consider their options to address this... there is an option to seek leave to enter the court while wearing their arms and appointments.
“If leave is not granted, officers should report the matter to their supervisor and seek a direction from their supervisor. In the interim, the association will continue to consider its available options for resolving this important issue.”
A meeting of Western Region delegates in Dubbo in May supported the union’s push to allow police officers across NSW to wear firearms in court, resolving that if the ban was not overturned they would consider further action, including refusing to give evidence in person if it could be provided via audiovisual link to the court.
At the time, NSW Police Association Western Region executive member Sue Rose said the issue was “extremely important” to officers across the state.
“In the western region, our courts don’t have the luxury of metal detectors as we walk into courts, they’re very much open to the public and we’re very mindful we don’t want injuries to our members or the public,” she said.
“Under our oath we’re supposed to protect people, we need the resources to do that and our arms and appointments form part of that.”
Asked about the specific regulations governing police officers taking firearms and other weapons into courts in Dubbo and surrounding towns, a Department of Justice spokesperson said: “For operational reasons we do not publicly discuss security arrangements in courts”.