Archive for Daryl Williams Attorney-General for Australia 1996 - 2003

1 January 2003

WA MAN CHARGED OVER HOAX HOTLINE CALL

Western Australian Police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old Perth man after a hoax call was made to the National Security Hotline yesterday.

Shortly before 8.00am Western Standard Time, a caller rang the National Security Hotline to provide information about an alleged planned terrorist attack.

The caller said someone was planning to detonate a device in a heavily populated area in either Fremantle or the Perth suburb of Northbridge, some time on New Year's Eve.

The information was immediately passed by hotline operators to WA Police, who began an investigation with officers from the State Security Unit and Major Crime Investigation Unit, assisted by the WA Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.

As a result, an 18-year-old Maddington man was interviewed and later charged with Create False Belief, under Section 90A (2) (c) of the WA Police Act. The offence can involve a penalty of a $500 fine and up to six months' imprisonment.

WA Police will also be seeking to recover investigation costs of more than $5,600 when the man appears in court.

The swift action taken by authorities in response to this incident demonstrates that the National Security Hotline is doing its job and Commonwealth, State and Territory law enforcement agencies are working closely together to protect our community.

Any calls about terrorism are taken extremely seriously and anyone making hoax reports will be prosecuted to the full force of the law.

We continue to encourage members of the public to report to the hotline in good faith any suspicious activity.

The man appeared in the Central Law Courts, Perth, this morning, where he was bailed to reappear on Friday, January 31.

Media Contact: Carina Tan-Van Baren (02) 6277 7300 / 0419 423 965

www.law.gov.au/ag