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Concealing a Serious Indictable Offence

Concealing a Serious Indictable Offence is a crime under Section 316(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

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

  1. You knew or believed a ‘Serious Indictable Offence’ had been committed by another person
  2. You knew or believed you had information of material assistance to secure the arrest, prosecution or conviction of the offender, and
  3. You failed to bring that information to the attention of police or another appropriate body.

A ‘Serious Indictable Offence’ is one that carries a prison sentence of at least 5 years.

The maximum penalty increases to 3 years if the offence that you knew about carries a maximum sentence of more than 10 years by less than 20 years in prison, or 5 years where the relevant offence carries a maximum sentence of more than 20 years in prison.

Certain vocations are exempt from the requirement to report provided the relevant information was obtained in the course of that vocation, there are:

  1. Lawyers
  2. Doctors and nurses
  3. Psychologists
  4. Social Workers
  5. Clergy
  6. Mediators and arbitrators, and
  7. Researchers for professional or academic purposes.

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