Health union leader backs random knife checks

  • Published April 19, 2024

The Australian, 19 April 2024

Health sector union leader Gerard Hayes says Australians are letting the next generation down “through our own inaction” as reports that NSW Police are calling for tougher knife laws circulate.

The Health Services Union NSW secretary said more needed to be done againist knife crime, suggesting that giving police the opportunity to conduct random knife checks could be a step in the right direction.

“We've seen many, many people stabbed with knives … going forward we really do need to intervene otherwise, what we're seeing at the moment, and particularly through social media as well, I think things get a lot worse,” he said on Sky News on Friday.

“If the police have the ability to check people randomly, I think that's a good thing. Now, what people might say … invasion of civil liberties, but you know, being incarcerated or killing somebody is a bigger invasion, I'm going to say.”

Mr Hayes added having an element of parental responsibility could be another option.

“I think to a degree the police are right, that parental responsibility has to come into play here. A lot of young people are out on the streets, they're affected by their friends, but they're also affected by the influence of their family,” he said.

“And I think that's something that needs to be looked at.”

Mr Hayes said “we've got to look at where that mentoring came from … there will be a percentage of people who fall in with the wrong group and they become the people they become, but there's also people who aren't nurtured the right way, and that needs to take a level of responsibility.”