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




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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 to sue for a great deal of money and make a windfall gain and I am sure that is quite the reverse of what the government intends. I support putting this legislation through in terms of restoring the power of citizen's arrest where an offence is being committed. I am not opposed irretrievably to the 'belief on reasonable grounds' aspect, but I think it needs further thought, particularly the taxi driver situation that the Leader of the Opposition raised. That is a matter close to my heart having been a taxi driver for some years myself and having had fairly regular experience of people doing a bolt without paying. Mr Manzie: You just drove around to the police station, didn't you? Mr PARISH: That is what I was about to say. In New South Wales, there are specific provisions in the Traffic Act ... Mr Manzie: In the taxi ... Mr PARISH: The taxi division of that act specifically authorises a taxi driver to take a non-paying passenger to the police station, provided that is done by the shortest practicable route and without delay. It is quite unclear to me whether this bill would grant or restore that sort of power. Frankly, I believe it is a power that should exist. From what I hear from taxi drivers, the incidence of passengers bolting without paying is probably even greater here than it was in Sydney when I drove taxis there. I would certainly like to see a much more mature and less hasty examination of the balance of this bill, apart from the restoration of the immediate power of arrest for offences actually being committed. Mr COLLINS (Greatorex): Mr Speaker, I would very much like to see this legislation advertised in the press so that people may be aware of the protection it extends. When people find themselves in the wrong place when a crime is being committed, if they are prepared to take a risk and attempt to arrest the offender, they will then know that they have the support of this parliament. They will know that they can do that in good faith and not find afterwards that they are subject to proceedings for their actions. Mr Parish: That is the trouble. Good faith is not sufficient under this. There have to be reasonable grounds. Mr COLLINS: I can see this being applied only when a crime is being actually committed. If someone sees it happening, they can dive in. To take the example cited by the Leader of the Opposition, where a person is seen running from a jewellery store and passing a bag to somebody else who rushes off in another direction, I believe it would be in order to grab the person who first came out with the bag because, as far as I am concerned, their actions constituted the commission of the crime. A witness would have pretty good grounds to arrest that person in those circumstances, and I would be most surprised if any judge in any court would do other than say that that was a reasonable action. If, however, that person rushed out of the jewellery store with a bag full of goods and passed it to another person, and was not arrested there and then but was seen a week later by someone who had witnessed that incident, I imagine there would not be too many people who would decide to arrest him. Most people would ring the police and explain the situation, and tell them where the person was. The information would be transmitted and it would be wise to let the police handle it from there. 10 222