Threats against Australia's political leaders 'concerning'

Nation's Federal Police Commissioner warns of rising danger

Threats against Australia's political leaders 'concerning'
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Threats to Australian politicians are increasing, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw has warned.

Kershaw told a Senate Estimates hearing this week he was “concerned” about the number of threats being made against parliamentarians.

Australia was following overseas trends where MPs were increasingly the target of intimidation and threats issued online.

“We are concerned. We’re seeing that around the globe, the threat to high office holders,” he said.

“And I’ve spoken to a number of my colleagues around this. Unfortunately it seems to be on the increase.

“Often it is through the online environment that threats are made.

“We are working with ASIO and others about our assessments and how we come to those assessments.”

The AFP boss said the heightened risk meant more needed to be done to protect office holders.

“Some MPs are more comfortable than others,” he said. “Not that that changes our decision but I think, for us, we’re more and more going to be required to protect our high office holders.”

He said there was a “record” number of incidents during the last election campaign and the threats were “ongoing”.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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