Regional Queensland cops can apply for covert body armour

QUEENSLAND police officers living in regional areas can apply to wear covert body armour with each request to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the practice was nothing new and certainly did not have anything to do with the State Government crackdown on criminal motorcycle gangs.

Mr Stewart said in Brisbane today the safety of each and every officer in the organisation was its number one priority.

"We have processes in place where if officers feel they have a need for a special dispensation to utilise covert body armour or to perhaps take their firearms home then they can make an application to do so," he said.

"That policy has been around for a very long time."

Mr Stewart said very few officers across the state had applied to wear covert body armour and none had done so in the past month.

"We do have some units in the police service where covert body armour is issued to them for the particular type of work that they do," he said.

"It is not a normal thing in the organisation, but we have had policy for a very long time that says should an officer feel the need, or believe the risk is greater in their particular case, then they can apply for approval to wear one."

Mr Stewart said the risk to police or the service had not increased in the past month as a result of the State Government's stance towards criminal motorcycle gangs despite claims from the police union it had.

"There is no doubt the union is absolutely passionate about officer safety," he said.

"I have not currently seen any evidence of a heightened risk.

"The consequence of offending against the legislation is significant.

"The deterrent effect it has had on certain people is quite honestly unprecedented."

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