After first appearing in Perth, another car has now appeared in Adelaide imitating a Chinese police vehicle, alarming members of the public and in particular ex-pats from China. There is currently speculation that this fake police car may have been part of an intimidating ploy against pro-democracy protesters rallying in solidarity with those in Hong Kong over the weekend.
Currently under South Australian law it is an offence to impersonate a police officer, but it is unclear if this incident is an offence under our state’s legislation as it does not refer to police vehicles or the impersonation of police from other countries. There needs to be greater clarity around these laws to protect the community.
Greens MLC, Tammy Franks, will introduce a Private Members Bill in September to address this current grey area in our state laws. She has urged the State Government to either support the Greens Bill or bring in their own Government legislation to defend democracy.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“The Marshall Government can show leadership and make it clear that we will not stand idly by if we see intimidation and threats to any members of the South Australian community."
“Our laws must clearly reflect that we don’t tolerate that intimidation from either an individual or a foreign power. We can and must make our laws clear to send that strong pro-democracy message."
“Australians have long enjoyed a strong and peaceful democracy and respect for protest, and our laws should ensure that right is afforded to all in our community."