Australia legislation expands Sydney police powers to cope with rioting

[JURIST] The Parliament of New South Wales [official website] passed laws in an emergency session Thursday allowing Sydney police to "lockdown" parts of the city if necessary in order to stop racial unrest. The new legislation also increases jail sentences for rioting and affray and expands police power, providing the authority to stop and search people and vehicles, ban alcohol, and seize vehicles and mobile phones. The Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment [PDF text; legislative materials] was enacted in reaction to two days of race riots in Sydney [JURIST report] that occurred earlier this week. Though the past two nights have been calm, there have been increased police patrols [NSW police press release] and there are calls for violence this weekend. Reuters has more. From Australia, the Daily Telegraph has local coverage.

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