Staying safe over the holiday season

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With the holiday season kicking into gear and some fun summer plans on the horizons, it’s important to know how to stay safe, and why local police may be doing what they do.
Local criminal lawyer Josh McKenzie tells you what you need to know, and discusses the latest trends in police practice.

Police to wear body worn cameras on the beaches, but what’s the big picture? Did you know police will now be able to record real-time interactions with the public with body worn cameras?

Recently in a media release, Superintendent Dave Darcy commented that this development would more likely enhance guilty pleas. Time will tell, but my view is that it’s optimistic for the local police to think that footage collected from body worn cameras will only be a good thing for them.

Police have strict rules to abide by when exercising their powers, which are found in The Law Enforcement - Powers and Responsibilities - Act. If police don’t comply with these rules, their actions may have adverse outcomes for themselves. 

Alcohol free zones – what you need to know. On the Northern Beaches, alcohol-free zones are designed to prevent street drinking. Police and rangers can confiscate alcohol in these places. Anyone refusing to co-operate, could be prosecuted with their failure to comply.  

In addition, if you are too drunk in a public place, disorderly or likely to cause injury or damage property, an officer may order you to leave the place and not return for a time of up to six hours.

Searching people - what powers do police actually have? Over the summer months, you’ll most likely see an increase in police presence and sniffer dogs on licenced premises. Without consent, police can only search someone if they are under arrest, or if there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ with actual basis that a person has something illegal on them - for example, drugs. 

Keep these tips in mind and have a fantastic and safe holiday break. Should you run into any legal trouble over the summer, get in touch with us. Being former police prosecutors, we are well versed not only in laws and criminal defence, but police methods of investigation and presenting evidence. By choosing our lawyers to represent you, you are making an intelligent decision. •