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Ask LH: Can Cops Fine Me For A Traffic Offence Without Any Proof?

Dear Lifehacker, I was recently disqualified from driving for six months and haven’t driven my car since. The other day, the police rocked up to my house out of the blue, handed me a fine for unlicensed driving and confiscated my plates for seven days. I stood in front of my plates and demanded they show me proof, but they just threatened to lock me up if I didn’t stand aside. Is this allowed?


The Mafia In Australia: What You Need To Know

The shooting murder in Melbourne this week of Joseph Acquaro, a lawyer with links to the Calabrian mafia in Australia, has brought the activities of a group that largely operates under the public radar back into the spotlight. But exactly what role does the mafia play in organised crime? And should Australian law enforcement agencies be reassessing their priorities?


Ask LH: Do Highway Police Need To Meet Ticket Quotas?

Dear Lifehacker, It was recently reported in the news that a highway patrolman was caught writing fake speeding tickets to meet his monthly quota. Is this practice widespread in the Australian police force? If so, what’s to stop people getting slugged with unfair fines on quiet months?


Five Things I Learned From Being A Pickpocket Victim

Yesterday afternoon, while boarding a train at Circular Quay station, a stranger plucked my wallet straight out of my back pocket. I never felt a thing. Within ten minutes, they had already used my credit card to make a fraudulent transaction. Here are five hard lessons that the experience taught me.


Texting While Driving Will Cost You Six Demerit Points In NSW This Christmas

To paraphrase those old road safety ads, if you text and drive, you’re a bloody idiot. Thankfully, the punishment for this crime is about to be doubled in NSW. During this year’s holiday period, anyone caught using their phone behind the wheel in NSW will receive six demerit points on their licence — up from the current penalty of three points. This means you will effectively lose half your full licence in one fell swoop. Hope that Facebook status update was worth it.


Ask LH: Are Police Allowed To Harass Me On My Property?

Dear Lifehacker, Last night, I was driving home at 3am on a provisional licence. As I entered my driveway the police pulled up and started grilling me about why I was driving outside of the P plate curfew. I have an exemption for work which I immediately showed to them. They subsequently couldn’t fine me for driving after hours, but then they noticed my back P plate had fallen down (it fell down as I went over the bump in my driveway). So they fined me for that instead. Was just wondering if what they did was allowed, coming onto my property and all that?


Ask LH: Do I Need To Apply For A New Licence After My DUI Suspension?

Dear Lifehacker, I recently copped a 30-day driving suspension for a DUI in Queensland while on a road trip to Western Australia where I’m staying for work. Does my suspension also apply here in WA or can I still drive? My other question is when my suspension is over. Can I just start driving again, or do I need to pay for another licence? (The one I have expires in 2017.)


Be Wary When Airlines Offer You A Replacement Suitcase

If your suitcase gets damaged at the airport, it’s not uncommon for staff to offer an on-the-spot replacement. It turns out this can be a bad idea. Earlier today, a Sydney Airport customer was accidentally given a replacement bag that contained 230 grams of plastic explosives. Oops.


Warning: Carrying Garden Seeds Can Get You Searched For Drugs

Last night, I was subjected to an extensive drug search at Sydney’s central station after a sniffer dog plucked me out of the crowd. Over the next 20 minutes, I was made to answer questions, hand over my licence, take off my shoes, empty the contents of my bag and stand spreadeagled against a wall while a police officer patted me down; all in full view of the public. Eventually, they found what had set the dog off — a bag of novelty garden seeds. No really.


Ask LH: What Should I Do If I Get Robbed?

Dear Lifehacker, A friend of mine recently had his house robbed, and it got me thinking: What should I do if I get robbed? Who should I call first, and how should I go about getting made whole again?


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