AFP-led taskforce to investigate fire at Old Parliament House
The AFP will lead a joint taskforce with ACT Policing to identify protesters responsible for a fire that damaged Old Parliament House on Thursday.
The AFP-led Taskforce Pike will include members from the AFP’s Special Investigations Command and detectives from ACT Policing.
The establishment of the taskforce, which will build on investigations that began immediately yesterday, underscores the zero tolerance authorities have for violence, destruction of property and assaulting police.
Those who break the law will be arrested and charged.
The taskforce will use the AFP’s world-leading forensics and technological capability to identify and locate those responsible for damaging Commonwealth property, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
A number of other State and Commonwealth offences are also being investigated, including arson, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years’ imprisonment and incitement, which carries a sentence of up to seven years’ imprisonment.
Footage from ACT Policing’s body worn cameras plus CCTV from Old Parliament House and surrounding premises have identified several suspects who will be questioned by authorities.
A number of witnesses have been interviewed by ACT Policing, with the Taskforce expected to question a number of other individuals in the coming days.
ACT Policing and AFP’s Protective Specialist Command will increase their presence at the Old Parliament House Precinct over the coming weeks.
The AFP and ACT Policing respect the right to peacefully protest, and negotiations with elders within the protest group continue.
Those with footage of the incident are urged to contact Crime Stoppers ACT on 1800 333 000 or via the website, please quote reference number 6993036.