Terror threat for police in Australia raised to high
Australia on Tuesday raised the national terrorism threat level for law enforcement officers in the country to high after recent high-profile attacks in Europe and Canada.
Melbourne: Australia on Tuesday raised the national terrorism threat level for law enforcement officers in the country to high after recent high-profile attacks in Europe and Canada.
The threat level for police has been moved from medium to high for officers in New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.
Australia's national alert level was already raised to high in September last year, classifying a terrorist attack as likely but not imminent, ABC reported.
Australian Federal Police said in a statement that the recent terrorism events around the world as reason for elevating the alert level.
"The factors that led to the elevated terrorism threat level for Australia to high in September 2014 persist and the security environment remains increasingly complex and challenging," the statement said.
"Recent events in France, Canada and Australia serve as a sobering reminder of the risks associated with policing," it said.
New South Wales Police also issued a statement on the change saying?"As first responders to emergencies and violent incidents, police officers are regularly placed in high risk situations. Safety arrangements for NSW Police will continue to be actively reviewed."
Police said while relatively small, an increasing number of Australians linked to overseas terrorist groups had the intent and capability to conduct an attack against Australian police.
"There has been no one specific incident that has occurred in Australia which has triggered the reassessment to the higher level," said Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart.
He said police in Queensland had been advised to be aware of their environment and their own personal safety as well as that of their loved ones.
Stewart said concerns raised last year about a lack of body armour for police had been addressed.
"I was very clear that we do have adequate ballistic vests available for all of our police when they're doing their normal duties and we have in place the concept that if an officer feels that they need to wear personal, covert body armour, then they can apply for that and it will be granted," Stewart said.