Australian police announce first bomb amnesty – but don’t bring them into the station
A spokeswoman said it was “critical that these materials are not moved or transported”
Police set to run Australia’s first amnesty on illegal bombs have hedged their appeal with a warning that “under no circumstances are materials to be transported to a police station”.
New South Wales police want to cut the volume of dangerous explosives in the state by giving a six-month window of legal immunity to those who hand them in.
From May 1, officers will respond to calls from the public reporting unlicensed collections of bombs or hazardous materials, ranging from home-made explosives to those smuggled out of commercial or military facilities and even fireworks.
Those involved in the illicit collection or making of explosives have ranged from criminal gangs to curious individuals, in addition to what authorities have alleged were a number of foiled bomb plots by would-be terrorists.
NSW police told its officers in a memo that the amnesty, code-named Operation Fragor, was “a safe way to reduce the amount of dangerous explosives in the community”, News Corp reported.
But the force in a media statement spelled out some risks associated with the campaign.
A spokeswoman said it was “critical that these materials are not moved or transported”.
“Under no circumstances are materials to be transported to a police station,” she said. “Simply call police, who will inspect and ultimately dispose of the materials. Do not tilt, touch or tamper
as older explosives can become unstable over time.”
High-profile illicit explosives arsenals have included 17.5kg of Powergel explosives and one of
10 rocket launchers stolen from the army, which were handed back by convicted murderer Adnan Darwiche in a bid to bolster his legal negotiations.
And a Sydney carpenter pleaded guilty in Manly local court to setting off home-made pipe bombs in a national park last year, in what his lawyer said were “foolish” acts not meant to harm anyone.