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Extra powers and training for SAPOL to counter terrorism

State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall has today announced another key part of his Counter Terrorism Action Plan with a pledge to legislate to provide police with greater latitude to use lethal force in the context of a terrorist incident.

The policy will enable the Police Commissioner to declare a terrorist incident and will deliver improved training for police officers.

“My plan will ensure police have the authority to move decisively to protect the public and the most up to date skills to deal with terrorist incidents,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

Increased training will also be provided to security industry personnel to ensure a coordinated approach with law enforcement agencies in preventing and responding to terrorist incidents.

A Marshall Liberal Government will work with SAPOL, the Australian Defence Force, and the Australian Federal Police to ensure that police first responders are equipped with the latest skills and techniques to deal with potential terrorist incidents.

“Terrorism is an evolving threat in the western world, and although we live in a peaceful democracy here in South Australia there is the potential for terrorist incidents to undermine our way of life,” said Mr Marshall.

“In order to keep our front line police officers at the forefront of dealing with potential threats they need to be armed with the latest skills and techniques.

“This will include extra firearms training. Currently police need to complete a single annual test to maintain their firearms licence.

“We will double the training to two tests a year to ensure that SAPOL officers are better prepared to deal with incidents as they occur and are able to react appropriately in any given circumstances.

“Private security personnel are often present at major events and are trained in standard crowd control and security techniques. Whilst not giving additional powers to security guards, we must ensure they are adequately trained to help deal with any terrorist incidents.

“The training program to be delivered to security guards will ensure that they are able to work with law enforcement agencies in a coordinated way in preventing and responding to terrorist incidents.”

This measure follows the announcement of an audit of all major public places as part of a broader suite of measures to keep our communities safe from the evolving threat of terrorism.