NSW man in court today charged by AFP Taskforce for alleged threatening behavior
An Australian Federal Police Taskforce, with the assistance of the NSW Police Force, has arrested and charged a man following an investigation into an incident on a roadside between Armidale and Tamworth on Friday.
The 52-year-old man was refused police bail and is expected to appear in Tamworth Local Court today (Monday, 25 April 2022), after police charged him yesterday with threatening to cause harm to a Commonwealth public official and failure to comply with bail conditions.
He was arrested at his New South Wales’ home yesterday (24 April) by officers from the new specialised investigative Taskforce (Operation Wilmot), which has been established to help ensure the security of high-office holders and parliamentarians during the 2022 Federal election.
Police will allege the man verbally threatened an AFP officer and adopted a fighting stance during Friday’s incident.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Jeremy Staunton said the arrest should send a strong message that the AFP and its partners were working tirelessly to identify and prosecute anyone who broke the law by harassing, menacing or threatening politicians, or those who worked with them.
“The AFP supports political expression and freedom of speech,” he said. “However, when it leads to disruption, harassment, intimidation, threatening behaviour and damage to property, it can reach the threshold of a criminal offence.
“Politicians, candidates and the people who work with them should be able to do their jobs safely and we will not tolerate criminal behaviour.”
The Taskforce works in close collaboration with the Australian Electoral Commission.
The man will face court charged with:
- Threatening to cause harm to a Commonwealth public official, contrary to section 147.2 (2) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is five years’ imprisonment.
- Failure to comply with bail conditions, contrary to section 77 (1)(C) of the New South Wales Bail Act.