HomeCovid-19 WA: Security bumped up for Premier Mark McGowan after alleged threat...

Covid-19 WA: Security bumped up for Premier Mark McGowan after alleged threat to behead

Security has been beefed up for one Premier after a series of violent incidents, including an alleged threat to behead his family.

Security has been beefed up for West Australian Premier Mark McGowan after two men allegedly threatened to behead him and his young family.

WA Police revealed on Tuesday that they had charged two men, aged 18 and 20, after the pair allegedly “left a number of threatening messages” on the Premier’s phone about 8.50pm on November 20.

Mr McGowan later told reporters the alleged threats were “unpleasant” to listen to and likened them to “the sort of stuff that Islamic fundamentalists do”.

Acting Police Commissioner Col Blanch confirmed on Wednesday that security had been beefed up following the alleged threats.

“We have bumped up security. Obviously, I’m not going to say what, but certainly we’ve got a lot of technology in place,” he told 6PR radio.

“We’ve got a lot of people in place, we’ve got eyes and ears everywhere, looking for those threats and if they’re serious or otherwise, we are on top of that.

“Really, the message is … we are watching, we are listening for people to make threats against others, and we will act on it as you’ve seen in the most recent case.”

Mr McGowan has seen an increase in threats against him, his staff and his family since his government mandated the Covid-19 vaccine for most workforces.

His electorate office even had to be shut down after a series of incidents, including threats to kill, rape and bomb.

The Premier has no immediate plans to relocate his family but says it is something he is considering.

But he has vowed there is no way any threats will change the state government’s handling of the pandemic.

While police rarely address threats made against public officials, Mr Blanch said the circumstances this time were different given the prevalence of social media, combined with the “unprecedented environment” of the pandemic and mandated vaccinations.

“There are a lot of messages out there, people are upset and really it’s the police’s job to determine … which ones are just idle, ridiculous comments made on social media and which ones may cause harm to anyone,” he said.

“We’ve got to make sure we investigate each of those properly.”

Mr Blanch stressed it was a “straight out offence” to make threats of violence against anyone.

“Whether or not there’s a capability to carry out … this is not a prank,” he said.

“This is someone saying things that are violent and horrific against a person and their family.

“Whether it’s a Premier or otherwise, it’s unacceptable to be doing that.

“Those threats are made online, those threats are made to personal telephone calls. Imagine being on the receiving end.

“I think that’s totally unfair. I’m not saying high profile people aren’t going to cop a bit of flack over decisions that they make, but it’s a step too far to start threatening their lives and their families’ lives.”

The two young men have been charged with one count each of acts creating false apprehension as to the existence of threats or danger.

They are subject to strict protective bail conditions and are both scheduled to face Armadale Magistrates Court on December 17.


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