Ban on Nazi symbols could backfire - NSW deputy police commissioner

"We're not dealing with people who are mainstream Australia, we have individuals who align themselves to extreme right-wing ideology."

Finnish neo-nazis start their Independence Day march with swastika flags in Helsinki, Finland December 6, 2018. (photo credit: MARTTI KAINULAINEN/LEHTIKUVA/VIA REUTERS)
Finnish neo-nazis start their Independence Day march with swastika flags in Helsinki, Finland December 6, 2018.
(photo credit: MARTTI KAINULAINEN/LEHTIKUVA/VIA REUTERS)

A proposed ban in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) on displaying Nazi symbols may not be the best approach and could end up backfiring, NSW deputy police commissioner Dave Hudson said, according to Australian news site ABC.

"When you force something underground it gains a certain mystique and attraction for certain individuals," Hudson told a parliamentary inquiry on the topic, according to ABC.

"We're not dealing with people who are mainstream Australia, we have individuals who align themselves to extreme right-wing ideology.

"The type of individuals that we deal with will certainly be attracted to the prohibition of this type of symbol."

The proposal in New South Wales follows prior moves by the state of Victoria, which had previously moved to completely outlaw displaying Nazi symbols in public.

A Nazi armband with a swastika displayed in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany (credit: Wikimedia Commons)A Nazi armband with a swastika displayed in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

This is in response to the recent rise of neo-Nazi activity in the area. One example includes an incident last year where a woman was flying a Nazi flag that featured a swastika symbol in the front yard of her home. However, at the time, there was no law that prohibited the flag from staying up. 

Similar laws already exist in Germany, Russia, France, Austria and Ukraine.