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By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP

This week I visited Granville Police Station to announce that, if re-elected, my team will introduce tougher powers to give police the upper hand in fighting organised crime, including UK-style Serious Crime Prevention Orders to disrupt the activities of serious criminals.

Crime rates in New South Wales are at record lows. Thanks to the outstanding work of the NSW Police Force, all the major categories of crime are either steady or falling for the first time since 1989. However, there is no room for complacency and we will continue to give police the powers they need to keep the community safe.

We want to close the loopholes that serious criminals exploit to carry out their activities and give police the powers they need to respond quickly and effectively to organised crime.

As part of our plan we’ll introduce Serious Crime Prevention Orders to restrict the activities of people or businesses involved in serious crime. These orders are used successfully in the UK and we’re keen to have them implemented here to prevent and disrupt serious crimes from taking place.

We’ll also allow senior police officers to issue Public Safety Orders that will temporarily block people from going to places or events where they’re likely to engage in violence. Criminals who break both of these new orders would face up to five years behind bars.

We’ll also streamline the process of confiscating property used in serious criminal activity and will bolster our efforts targeting money laundering to target the king pins behind organised crime networks operating in the state.

On another note, it was good to visit the Garden Island naval base to congratulate leading defence manufacturer Thales for signing onto our Securing Our Veterans’ Future initiative.

The initiative encourages the private sector to help young veterans make the transition back to civilian life and find jobs once their military careers are over.

While at the base I announced a re-elected Baird Government would help 200 additional veterans to secure jobs in the public sector over the next four years.

We know about 1,000 servicemen and women in NSW leave the military each year with unique experience and qualifications that could address skills shortages in the public sector, including NSW Police, Corrective Services and infrastructure delivery agencies.

Easing back into civilian life after the military can be daunting for some of our young veterans and the social rewards of finding work can’t be underestimated so we will create a specialist Veterans Transition Unit within the Office of Veterans’ Affairs to help connect young veterans with employment opportunities in the public sector.

On a final note, I was inspired by the women at this year’s NSW Women of the Year Awards reception at NSW Parliament House as we mark International Women’s Day.

I’d like to congratulate this year’s Woman of the Year, Professor MinotiApte OAM – a leading researcher in the field of pancreatic cancers and an active member of the Marathi Association of Sydney, an organisation serving Sydney’s Indian population.

Professor Minoti is a highly respected researcher and member of the community, and her achievements inspire other women to follow in her footsteps.

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