The immediate disbandment of the South Australian Police's Security Response Section (SRS)

The immediate disbandment of the South Australian Police's Security Response Section (SRS)

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Many South Australians were shocked this morning (02/07/20) to see images of South Australian Police Officers walking through the main shopping area of Adelaide holding assault rifles. But there was no incident or immediate threat, these officers were going about their normal assigned duties while heavily armed. 

South Australian Police (SAPOL) have implemented a new team within the Police known as the Security Response Section (SRS). Based on the information freely available from the SAPOL website, the purpose of the SRS is 

"an extra layer of protection for South Australians at large events and where large crowds gather. They are focused on prevention and response to terrorism related incidents, domestic events of a violent nature and safely managing major events in South Australia."

However, as citizens of South Australia we fail to see the need for any Police Officer to have to carry an assault rifle as part of their normal duties when there is no evidence-based immediate threat to public safety. The purpose of the police is to protect the community with the goal of safely de-escalating any potential threat. The addition of an assault rifle on top of their standard pistol serves no purpose other than to scare and intimidate the citizens they are duty-bound to serve. It can only be interpreted to send a clear message about the fate of any person who fails to comply with the immediate direction or will of the police. That is, we can and will murder you if we feel you are a threat. We are judge, jury and executioner.

This is not the sort of police mindset we wish to import from overseas and is certainly never something we wish see in our community.     

We also find the timing of the implementation of the SRS incredibly tone-deaf considering the rising global movement against police brutality, further adding to the idea that this is more about a message, then any actual effective policing method.

As a result, we call on SAPOL and South Australian Premier Steven Marshall to immediately and permanently disband the SRS, and prevent any future internal Police team from carrying unnecessary weaponry during the course of their normal duties. 

Please spread this to all your friends and family and use the hashtag #endthesrs

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