Last week – and it looks like again this week – the police searched us on the streets of Byron Bay and in our vehicles with sniffer dogs. The operation just so happens to coincide with Schoolies.
As this is quite a large police presence in our town, perhaps they should be called ‘Rulies.’
The ‘Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Regulation 2005’ allows Rulie Units to search pubs, places of public events and public transport with dogs. However to search us on the street and in our cars requires a ‘street’ warrant, which is lodged at the local court house.
According to the NSW State Ombudsman’s office, ‘Members of the public are entitled to view a copy of the application of the drug detec- tion warrant and the report on the execution of the warrant, which is pursuant to clause 10 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Regulation 2005.
‘Clause 10(6)(c) states that any member of the public may view a copy of the warrant application and the warrant execution report (referred to in clause 10(1)(a) and clause 10(1)(d) respectively) during opening hours for a period of at least six years after the warrant was granted.’
So if anyone would like to view the warrant, it should be available at our local court house through the Registrar for the Issuing Justice. I am told however, by the Lismore court house, that the warrant cannot be photcopied or reproduced.
Thelawisavailablehere: www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/ view/inforce/subordleg+748+2005+cd+0+N.
It would make for interesting reading – the warrant needs to state reasonable suspicion for searching anyone outside pubs, places of public events and public transport. Having ‘reasonable suspicion’ is arbitrary at best and is completely at the discretion of the Rulies.