To all my police friends, and to the community generally, these are difficult times.
In response to the growing Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, new legislation has been introduced in NSW that places harsh restrictions on people’s ability to move freely and to gather in public. These laws mean that you cannot leave your home unless you have a “reasonable excuse” for doing so. The laws also mean that you cannot participate in a “gathering” in a public place of more than 2 persons (who are not members of the same household).
You can read the full legislation here, including a list of what qualifies as a “reasonable excuse”.
Changes are occuring daily in public order and health offences, and it is important that we respect each other, treat each other kindly, and also and always be civil with each other.
However, it is also important to protect yourself, and to be transparent and honest in relation to any potential offence or other dealings with the police.
If police approach you, you are entitled to record the interaction on your phone. If police try to stop you from recording, then you can refer them to the NSW Police Force Media Policy (Section 10.3), which says that they cannot:
- Prevent you from recording
- Confiscate your phone
- Delete what you have recorded
If they demand to see your phone, then lock it first. They need a warrant to get you to unlock it.
If you need more information, have a look at this article by Marrickville Legal Centre. And thank you, Michelle Sanson, for notifying me of this.
Remember in these hard times to be kind to each other.