One of the most senior policemen in Australia on Sunday said authorities must have clear legal powers to require people to remove face coverings, including veils, if they are do their job properly.I get a bad taste in my mouth too from such victimology. It needs to be defeated, and asap.
The comments by New South Wales state Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione follow the case of Carnita Matthews, who in November 2010 was sentenced to six months jail for falsely accusing police of forcibly trying to remove her burqa.
It followed the woman being pulled over for a traffic offence.
Her sentence was quashed last month when a magistrate said he could not be 100 percent sure it was Matthews who made the complaint because officers were not able to see the face of the accuser.
Scipione told the Sydney Sunday Telegraph there must be one law for everyone -- regardless of their race or religion.
"This is not about disrespect; this has got nothing to do with religion," he said.
"It wouldn't matter whether it was a full-face motorcycle helmet or a balaclava at the snowfield: People have to do what they're required to (by police).
"Whether you're wearing a veil, whether you're wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet, a ski balaclava in the snowfields -- if there is a lawful reason, if there is a need for police to actually identify the person, then this should not be in the grey.
"It should be something everyone clearly understands."
Scipione said he had held talks with senior politicians who had indicated that if there was a loophole, then they would work to close it.
"This is not something we can just allow to continue," he said, adding that frontline police officers had to be protected from vindictive complaints, which could ruin careers.
"I get absolutely filthy when people want to make complaints that are clearly false," he said. "If you do that, and I catch you, we will charge you."
Update: well how about that: it looks like a positive step may have been taken sooner than thought (via Atlas Shrugs):
WOMEN wearing the burqa or other full-face veils will be forced to show their face when stopped by police under proposed changes to the law, Attorney-General Greg Smith said yesterday.She shouldn't even be driving while wearing a veil; it can limit one's eyesight range, and overall make one look really, REALLY stupid.
Mr Smith said there was a duty on all citizens to identify themselves when asked by police and the law should reflect that.
"The law is not that specific at the moment and that is what we are leading towards," Mr Smith said.
He said he could understand the "public outcry" over "cases like that" of Muslim woman Carnita Matthews, 47, who had her jail sentence and conviction for knowingly making a false complaint about racism by police overturned on appeal in the District Court last week. Ms Matthews, who wears a full-face niqab, had denied she was the person who signed the complaint or delivered it to police after she was booked for not properly displaying a P-plate.