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Committing Certain Actions Against Families of Law Enforcement Officers

Committing certain actions against families of law enforcement officers constitutes an offence under Section 60B of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You assaulted, stalked, harassed or intimidated a person who had a domestic relationship with a law enforcement officer, or you obtained the personal information of such a person intending to use it to cause fear of physical or mental harm to an officer
  2. You intended to cause the officer to fear physical or mental harm, and
  3. You engaged in the conduct because the person was a law enforcement officer, or due to, or in retaliation for, the actions of the law enforcement officer

An ‘assault’ is where:

  1. You caused fear of immediate and unlawful violence, or you made unauthorised physical contact
  2. The other person did not consent, and
  3. Your actions were intentional or reckless

‘Stalking’ includes:

  1. Following a person about
  2. Watching, approaching or attending a person’s home, work, business or place of socialising, and
  3. Making repeated contact with a person

Courts must look at any pattern of behaviour when determining whether conduct amounts to stalking.

‘Harassment’ has been defined by the courts as pestering, badgering or persistently applying unwanted pressure.

‘Intimidation’ includes:

  1. Harassment or molestation
  2. An approach, whether physical or otherwise, that causes a person to fear for his or her personal safety, and
  3. Causing a person to apprehend injury, violence or damage

A person with whom the officer has a ‘domestic relationship’ includes:

  1. A spouse or de facto partner
  2. An intimate partner
  3. A child or current or former relative, and
  4. A person living in the same household as the officer

‘Law enforcement officer’ is defined as:

  1. A Police Officer
  2. An ICAC commissioner, assistant commissioner or officer
  3. An officer of the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission
  4. A NSW Crime commissioner, assistant commissioner or staff member
  5. A Corrective services commissioner or governor, or correctional or corrective services officer
  6. A Juvenile Justice officer
  7. A Crown Prosecutor, Acting Crown Prosecutor or DPP lawyer
  8. A Sheriff’s officer
  9. An officer of a charity who performs animal cruelty investigations, and
  10. A Special Constable or other person recognised as a law enforcement officer Under the Police Act.

The prosecution does not need to prove that any person was actually assaulted, stalked, harassed or intimidated or that the law enforcement officer feared for his or her safety.

Causing the officer to fear harm includes causing fear of harm to a person with whom the officer has a domestic relationship.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity

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