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Gun-shy Australia, reeling from knife crime, weighs public security settings

17/4/2024 18:00
        Two stabbing attacks in Sydney which killed six people and injured shoppers and a Assyrian bishop during his service have shocked Australians and sparked calls for greater public security despite some of the world's toughest gun laws.
        
        The deadly attack at a busy shopping mall in Bondi Junction last Saturday has shone a spotlight on longstanding complaints from the country's 155,000 security guards who say they are so poorly equipped, they are disincentivised to act.
        
        "At least the cleaner's got a broom, but a security guard won't be carrying anything except a radio," said Ben Reis, a casual security guard from Newcastle, in a phone interview.
        
        "I've been in a shopping centre and I've caught people stealing and I can't do anything, I can just watch them walk," he added.
        
        The attacks have also lifted the lid on growing public unease about non-gun violence that drove the state government of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, to double prison terms for public knife crimes months earlier.
        



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