Clarity Law

Specialist Criminal Law Firm Queensland
Wednesday, 31 May 2023 16:40

Jacks Law

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If you are in Fortitude Valley or the Surfers Paradise safe night in the near future, you will undoubtedly see members of the Queensland Police Service with a metal detector scanning people on the street.


Is this legal? Do police have a search warrant? What happens if I don’t wish to comply?

These are all good questions. This new power has come about as a result of a recent amendment to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act, known as ‘Jack’s Law’. Jack’s Law is aimed at fighting knife crime in safe night precincts and at public transport stations (such as train stations).

A senior police office may authorise the deployment and use of a handheld scanner (or wand) in a designated safe night precinct or public transport station if a series of criteria regarding weapons offences have occurred in that area. In such event, a notice must be published about the use of the handheld scanners within the area – however it may be unlikely that the vast majority of the public actually see the notice.


Why might I be searched?

Anybody in one of the above nominated areas where a hand held scanning notice has been published may be stopped and required to submit to wanding. NOTE While the police have the authority to wand a person, this does not authorise police to conduct a search without a warrant beyond the exercise of this power.

If the police decide to wand you, they must exercise their power in the least invasive manner possible and if practicable ensure that the search is conducted by a member of the same sex as the person being searched. Police have the power to detain a person for as long as reasonably necessary to complete the wanding and the police officer must:

  1. if requested by the person, inform the person of the police officer’s name, rank and station; and
  2. if requested by the person, provide the information mentioned in paragraph (a) in writing; and
  3. produce the police officer’s identity card for inspection by the person unless the police officer is in uniform; and
  4. inform the person that the person is required to allow the officer to use a hand held scanner to determine whether the person is carrying a knife or other weapon; and
  5. offer to give the person a hand held scanner information notice and, if the person accepts the offer, give the notice to the person.

If metal is detected by the officer, you may be required to produce the item which has set off the scanner (such as keys, phone, belt buckle ect) and resubmit to be wanded again. Much like going through the metal detectors at a domestic or international airport.

It is an offence to not comply with the direction of police without a reasonable excuse. If, without a reasonable excuse you do not submit to the wanding police may charge you with Obstruct/Assault Police or more likely Contravene direction or requirement of a police officer. At the time of writing, there is limited guidance surrounding what offence someone will be charged with.

If police located a knife or weapon (such as screwdriver ect), you will likely be charged under the Weapons Act with possess knife in a public place or a like offence.

The above is a general outline about a recent change in law. If you have been charged with an offence for failing to submit to being wanded or with possessing a knife feel free to contact our office for an obligation free consultation.


How do I get more information or engage Clarity Law to act for me?

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you

  2. Visit our website at

  3. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm

  4. Book a time for us to call you

  5. Email our firms founder on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 250 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 June 2023 16:52
Jack Marshall

Jack is a former soldier and now a criminal defence lawyer with Clarity Law. He helps clients navigate the court process and get the best results.