The former prime minister Tony Abbott said in a radio interview “We do need to give police a shoot-to-kill power where they reasonably think they’re in a terrorist situation.”
However, Mr Keenan said police already had such power. “This policy is outlined in the National Counter-Terrorism Plan, which was agreed to by the commonwealth and states,” he said.
“Australians can be assured that our police have every power necessary to allow them to respond with the required force to remove a terrorism threat.”
The Australian can reveal a confidential field manual used by the Australian Federal Police says that as “an option of last resort”, officers are empowered to use lethal force for self-defence or to prevent death or serious injury to others. Police law expert Rick Sarre, of the University of South Australia, said Monis gave up a big part of his legal entitlement when he took out a gun, threatened to kill hostages and said he had a bomb.
Stephen Blanks of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties said the law was adequate and warned against a situation where police were absolved from all accountability. “The overall objective is to minimise loss of life and harm to innocent hostages in a siege situation. It’s not always the case that early armed action by police is going to achieve that objective.”
Source: The Australian