Lawyer Casts Doubt Over Police Killers Crackdown

ABC online

A Gold Coast criminal defence lawyer has questioned the effectiveness of introducing tougher penalties for killing police officers.

Queensland Parliament last week passed new laws, which will increase the non-parole period for murder from 15 to 20 years.

Anyone who reoffends or kills a police officer would face a lengthier jail term.

Solicitor Bill Potts says the laws appear to be an emotional response to the death of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding last year.

“Adding five years to a non-parole period for the killing of a police officer is simply going to have no effect by way of deterring people but appears to me to be more of a publicity statement to the police, the police union and the public,” he said.

Mr Potts says the laws send the wrong message to other workers who put their lives on the line.

“Whilst I appreciate police do a very, very difficult job, I see no reason to distinguish between those persons and other front-line workers such as ambulance officers, paramedics, firefighters, nurses, prison officers and the like,” he said.

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