NSW police are getting new terrorist detention powers

Police at the 2014 Lindt Cafe siege. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

New South Wales police will be able to detain and question terrorism suspects for up to 14 days under new laws being introduced by justice and police minister Troy Grant today.

The Terrorism (Police Powers) Amendment (Investigative Detention) Bill 2016 is based on similar laws in the UK, which allow a court to approve detention for up to 14 days for additional questioning.

Grant said police were concerned that the existing laws prohibited questioning under existing 14-day NSW preventative detention orders.

The changes allow NSW police to arrest and detain a person for up to four days, with a review by a senior police officer every 12 hours, if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting they committed a terrorist act in the past 28 days or are involved in planning one in the next fortnight. A Supreme Court Judge can extend the detention period after that in seven-day increments up to a total 14 days.

The laws prevent the arrest or detention of anyone under 14, and the minister says there will be “appropriate protections” for anyone under 18.

Last year, 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, was charged over the shooting death of 58-year-old accountant Curtis Cheng, outside the NSW Police headquarters in Parramatta, while a 16-year-old boy was recently charged with planning a terror attack in Sydney on Anzac Day.

Other states have agreed that the NSW laws for the investigative detention of terrorist suspects will be used as the basis for a national model in other jurisdictions.

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