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Law Evenings Seminar 3

Police firearms carriage: Are we safer? Are they safer?

by Professor Rick Sarre, School of Law, University of South Australia


Wednesday 13 September 2017


5:30pm to 7:30pm, refreshments provided


Bradley Forum, Level 5, Hawke Building
50-55 North Terrace, Adelaide, UniSA City West Campus

Ian Leader Elliott

In 1970, the New South Wales Police Force was the only force that was routinely armed in Australia. Today, all police across Australia have access to firearms and carry them for general duties.

While the reasons for this significant change over the last 40 years vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, there has been a clear trend towards greater reliance by police on firearms in their day to day operations. Moreover, the legitimacy of this policy is never questioned. The policy of arming police is again, I argue, up for debate, given the number of times that firearms are resorted to today (with fatal consequences), the difficult occasions when they are not resorted to (the Bourke Street horror refers), and the tragic cases when officers use their own weapons to end their lives.

This presentation will review current themes and trends in Australia regarding the routine deployment firearms in general patrol activities. Are we safer if police are routinely armed? Are police safer? What does the evidence tell us?


Registrations Closed

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