The NSW Police Force formally announced the Commercial Explosives Amnesty which has been put in place for six months in NSW.
The amnesty commenced on 15 March 2017 and will end on 14 September 2017.
The aim of the Commercial Explosive Amnesty is to provide a safe avenue for members of the community to hand in explosives and related hazardous materials to police.
Commander of the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said the amnesty is about taking proactive steps to reduce the amount of dangerous explosives in the community.
“In recent years we have had an increased number of requests for the destruction of commercial explosives which have been found in the community.
“In some cases explosives were found in deceased estates or discovered in police operations and there was a need to for members of the public to surrender these explosives in a safe and legal manner.
“The amnesty is a way of encouraging community members to contact police for the disposal of explosives in their possession or held on their residential properties.
“Those in the community we are targeting, as part of the amnesty, may be committing offences by possessing such explosives.
“Apart from being illegal, the explosives can be dangerous as they become older and more unstable.
“To give the community the incentive to participate in handing in dangerous explosives an amnesty has been approved so they have legal protection from possible criminal proceedings,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.
Assistant Commissioner Murdoch added the amnesty is not the result of any threat.
An amendment has been legislated to the Explosive Act and Regulation to allow for an Explosive Amnesty program across NSW.
How will the Commercial Explosive Amnesty work?
Police want members of the public who have explosives to contact them and tell them what they have.
Chief Inspector Brenton Charlton, Commander of the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit said police who are contacted by the public who have explosives, will obtain details, including a photo of the explosives and forward this information to the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit.
“My officers will then contact the member of the public and arrange an appropriate time for collection of the material.
‘Under no circumstances do we want members of the public moving the explosives.
“Explosives, especially older ones, can become unpredictable as they age,” Chief Inspector Charlton said.
Assistant Commissioner Murdoch added that members of the public should not transport the explosives and definitely not take them to a police station.
“The Amnesty does not authorise the transportation of explosives and it is an offence to do so.
“The Amnesty is limited to the possession and storage of explosives. It does not authorise any person to move or transport explosives without the required licence or security clearance.
“Please, take this opportunity if you have explosives on your property or in your house to dispose of them safely. Call your local police and let us get rid of them safely,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.
The types of explosives covered by the amnesty includes:
- black powder
- nitro-glycerine based explosives
- watergel and Emulsion explosives
- detonating cord
- other commercial explosive items.
Please contact your local police for further information, or watch the Youtube video at www.police.nsw.gov.au
Police are urging anyone with information on the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Police remind people they should not report crime information via their social media pages.