After many years representing people who are brought before courts in NSW, the events that bring people to court still surprise me.
You may have heard of Strike Force Raptor, a section of the NSW police force which investigates Outlaw Motorcycle gangs.
Such police are given a lot of power through legislation, for example to issue Firearms Prohibition Orders. And if such an Order is issued, to search premises. This has led to a lot of Firearms Prohibition Orders being issued to outlaw motorcycle gang members.
Another example is the ‘consorting laws’. A client was recently served with a couple of A-4 size pages of coloured photos of men. Being one of those communities where people know each other he was able to point out to me friends, friends of friends, and men he had known as kids growing up in the local area.
We started to draw flow charts – he was now warned; and so it would be an offence for him to consort with at least 2 of these men – separately or together; on 2 occasions.
So he can’t hang out with ‘A’ and ‘B’ more than once – separately or together. He can hang out with A, B, C, D, E, F …once; and maybe ‘A’ twice..anyway…
Back to ‘raptor’ (which according to ‘google’ means some sort of dinosaur) – I recently acted for a client who was served with a firearms prohibition order by police from Strike Force Raptor. Police then searched his premises. They found two (2) bearded dragons – one with deformed feet. Both dragons were unable to be released into the wild given all they had known was captivity.
The client found himself before the Court protesting the bona fides of harbouring these lizards (Pretty sure i had a bearded dragon when I was a kid!). After being informed of the maximum penalty of $11 000 and/or imprisonment of up to six (6) months, my client was fined and admonished.
Moral of the story, best to be a member of WIRES!