Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

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Parliamentary Record 21


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 1993 the right to defend himself and the other believing he had the right to arrest the first because he believed he had reasonable grounds to suspect an offence had been committed. I believe that we would be wiser to leave that area of activity with the police. If the commission of an offence is actually seen, that is fair enough. If someone is seen running away and the police are chasing them, as is provided for in subclause (c), that is fair enough. However, when that fine line is crossed between someone seeing the person committing the offence and someone believing on reasonable grounds that the person has committed the offence and deciding to try to arrest them on the basis of that belief, then we move ordinary people into the area of police which I believe is a pretty dangerous business. There are also problems for the police with this legislation. For example, a police officer is walking down Smith Street Mall and a person approaches with a man whose arms he is holding behind his back. The person who is holding the man says to the police officer: 'As required under subclause (4), as soon as practicable after a person is arrested, the person is to be delivered to a member of the police force. Here is a person I have arrested. I want you to take this person into your custody under subclause (4). What is the police officer supposed to do? He asks what the complaint is and what it is all about. The person says: 'I am fairly certain that this is the person who stole some jewellery. I saw him run out of the jewellery store and I think he handed it to another person who cleared off that way'. He tells the police officer that because he believes it on reasonable grounds. Mr Manzie: It does not sound too reasonable to me. Mr EDE: As a former police officer, you should know the old trick of the snatch. One person makes the snatch and hands the goods to another person. One goes in one direction and the other in another. Mr Manzie: It is on reasonable grounds. Mr EDE: The person making the arrest is a reasonable person. They see somebody doing this and they believe that they have reasonable grounds to make the arrest. Mr Collins: But wasn't the crime actually occurring when your person saw this? Mr EDE: This person has reasonable grounds to believe the person is guilty. The person saw someone doing this, and believes he or she has reasonable grounds on which to make the arrest. Mr Collins: But wasn't the crime actually happening, when ... Mr EDE: They believed that they saw this happen. It was actually happening. They have reasonable grounds to believe something was stolen in the shop. Mr Manzie: You have to remember that this legislation is used all over Australia. Mr Parish: Not the reasonable grounds provision. Mr Manzie: Yes it is. 10 211