Muslim women can be forced to remove their face veils during routine car stops under new powers granted to NSW police.
Premier Barry O’Farrell said cabinet had approved the move on Monday so police could properly identify motorists or any other people suspected of committing a crime.
“I don’t care whether a person is wearing a motor cycle helmet, a burqa, niqab, face veil or anything else, the police should be allowed to require those people to make their identification clear,” he said in a statement.
Last week, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said police needed stronger powers to identify women who wear full facial veils.
Police have had the power to ask women to remove face veils during the investigation of serious offences but did not have such powers during routine car stops.
Update: See “Qld cops won’t seek powers to remove veils”, AAP, 5 July 2011
And “WA to follow NSW on head covering law”, AAP, 5 July 2011