Review of listening devices in NSW long overdue

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The NSW Opposition is demanding an urgent review of the use of listening devices in NSW – following new information that shows police continue to use such devices in routine cases, in direct contravention of legislation.

Shadow Attorney General Paul Lynch says updated information from the NSW Ombudsman found the type of offence most commonly targeted by NSW Police for listening devices were the type of cases the courts have said can't justify the use of listening devices.

The Surveillance Devices Act was introduced in 2007 to allow police to monitor people suspected of serious crimes such as murder, terrorism and cross-border organised crime.

Mr Lynch said a statutory review of the act is already three years overdue and it was high time for Attorney General Gabrielle Upton to act.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Attorney General Paul Lynch

“The Baird Government is resolutely ignoring a serious problem with police surveillance in this state.”

“Suggestions police are determinedly refusing to adhere to a Court ruling limiting the use of covert surveillance devices are very concerning.”

“We appear to have a situation where police are granted surveillance warrants on any grounds – this is a serious cause for concern.” 

“Allowing the police to ignore Court rulings will simply bring the legal system into disrepute, and this position will only worsen with the Government sitting on its hands.”

“To make matters worse, the Government’s review of the Listening Devices Act is now years late. This is Government by disinterest.”

“The additional problems revealed about the issue of warrants at the police bugging inquiry should have compelled greater attention by the Government. Instead, it has continued its imitation of an ostrich.”