Police ‘chats’ are the sharp edge of a thinning wedge

Police ‘chats’ are the sharp edge of a thinning wedge

Is this police behaviour, as described below, right and legal, asks an elderly Australian?

My name is Peter Karasavas, of inner-city Zetland NSW 2017, born 03/11/1949, so advanced in years. Fairly obviously by my appearance, not a bikie or a terrorist.

On 23 October 2019 about 2.30 pm I left the Eastgardens Shopping Centre on foot, heading north in the direction of the Sydney CBD on Bunnerong Road.

Shortly after, I noticed a police car had detained a motorist in a white sedan. I assumed it was for a traffic offence. However, a couple of minutes later, the police car pulled into the next street on the left and parked near the corner of Bunnerong Road, where they engaged in a short conversation with the the rider of a parked Lambretta-type motor scooter.

Then next, they approached me – an innocent pedestrian and soon-to-be septuagenarian with an unblemished record. I reminded them of this, as I willingly produced my ID…but politely objected to the nature of the delay.

The police themselves were also polite, though intimidating. They said they simply ‘wanted a conversation’.

I repeat, I am nearly 70 years old. I didn’t come down in the last shower: “Just a conversation?’…RUBBISH!!

I moved on towards Birdwood Ave (by now, it was about 2.45pm) where yet again the conversation-starved police had detained the driver of a blue car. Dare I speculate, for another chat?

If I hadn’t been on foot, these events would have gone by unnoticed. But this is illegal police harassment and intimidation to my mind, detention without fair reason.

They willingly ‘confessed’ to detaining many people for a ‘conversation’, as if it is the norm for them.

How many others did they harass on this day?

Where is this country heading?

Regards…with a genuine fear of incrementalism,

Peter Karasavas

CLA’s response:

Answer: Peter, the police behaviour is over the top.

They are permitted to stop you if they reasonably believe you have committed a crime.

They are permitted to ask your name and address (for example, you may have been a witness to something that happened, or even a non-witness in that you didn’t see anything happen).

But they are NOT entitled to ask for ID from you without reason.

Many police cars throughout Australia are now equipped with cameras that can check licence plates – and even record faces, if people are in the “right” position. Maybe your cops were just (illegally) photographing you for the monstrous national photo ID database being assembled in the federal Home Affairs Department under Minister Peter Dutton.

By the way, while the official position is that police may not, unreasonably and without proper cause, demand something from you, it is quite possible that they might find a defect in your vehicle if you don’t comply. Or, if walking as in this case, you may be fined for jaywalking if your angle of crossing a road is not precisely at 90 degrees.

– Bill Rowlings, CEO CLA

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