Joh on steroids, actually – I doubt he even dreamed of stamping out public profanities: Queensland police win new powers to fine for public nuisance offences
THOUSANDS of people could be slapped with fines for offences that would never have attracted police attention in the past under sweeping reforms to police powers.
Experts fear swearing in public, with a fine of $100, will be a major money spinner and could become the weapon of choice for frustrated officers on the beat.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the new powers for the state’s police to issue on-the-spot notices for public nuisance offences.
Ms Bligh said the move would increase efficiency, save time and fast-track more important matters in the courts by stopping minor public nuisance offenders from clogging the justice system.
She said the measures, targeting offences such as public urination, disorderly conduct and abusive language, would save the Government between $18 million and $30 million.
The power to issue on-the-spot fines of between $100 and $300 could result in public nuisance prosecutions soaring 20 per cent, based on figures from a 12-month trial in South Brisbane and Townsville.
So, minor public order offences, for which a court wouldn’t even hand down a minor fine, are now going to be open slather for peelers treading the beat to hand out tickets on the spot? What could possibly go wrong?
*headdesk* *headdoorframe* *headfridge* *headfloor*
Categories: law & order, social justice
Last time in Queensland around they only arrested actors for the swearing. This time the audience seems to be the more lucrative target.
My suspicion is that it’ll be used to disproportionately target people who can’t be moved on under existing laws, but can be provoked into a burst of cursing at police harassment. Given that this will be a $100 on the spot Your Word versus This Nice Official From The Government, unless people start proactively taping their conversations (whole other kettle of fish mixed with open can of worms goes here), it’s going to be very difficult to fight this once charged due to the lack of evidence.
I’d forgotten about the actors getting arrested. Famously for one of Alex Buzo’s plays, yes?
I bet it will be mainly used as a way to chase the homeless out of tourist areas.
Yes, that’s the one – I don’t like the line that was used (hence allusion rather than reference), but that was the very one and the same.
I’ve got a shopping list of locations I expect to see this used – starting with the Valley Mall on a Friday night, afternoon clearing out of the lower side of the Queen Street Mall towards the city square, and eventually just used to ensure that the Gold Coast consists of Nice Patrons Who Spend Money Nicely. That never ends well.