Tagged With police

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Getting pulled over by Aussie cops is already nerve-wracking, but when it happens somewhere far from home it can be even scarier. Laws are different, customs vary, and you may have to pay a fine on the spot. Here's what you need to know before you get behind the wheel outside of your home country.

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Australian-born Justine Damond was infamously shot and killed in Minneapolis by US police in July last year after innocently approaching their car. In Australia, far fewer people are killed by police firearms than in the US - even after taking population size into account. We look at what's causing this huge disparity.

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The Australian government wants new powers to access encrypted communications, but do they need them? Police and intelligence agencies already have significant abilities to access data about our emails, phone calls and text messages if we’re suspected of committing a crime, although it can be difficult to tell exactly what they’re doing with them.

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Dear Lifehacker, A few weeks ago I received a call from a police officer as another driver reported my car as having bumped their car (which I do not believe I did and there is no evidence of any collision.) I was told to visit my local police station and make a report - and obviously my report was very different from the other person's!

About a week later I got a $180 fine in the mail for "negligent driving" issued by the officer who had called me to ask me to go and make the report. I don't understand how I can be issued a fine by an officer I have never met based on the report of a person I have never met. I appealed the fine but was given the reply that the officer felt it was appropriate. My only other option is to go to court which I can't afford to. What should I do?

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Consider the following scenarios: A police officer stops you on the street and asks you to empty your pockets. A police officer stops you in your car and asks to search you and the vehicle. Regardless of nearly all factors, one of the items recovered will inevitably be a mobile phone. But in what circumstances can police search your phone? Must they obtain a search warrant? And what will happen if you refuse to provide your passcode or fingerprint required to access your phone? Let's find out.

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There are various reasons you might want to record an Australian police officer. Maybe you've been detained by the law and want to prove what was said in court. Maybe you're a video blogger attempting to capture "life on the street". Or maybe you're bearing witness to some good ol' fashioned police brutality.

Whatever the reason, it's important to know your legal rights in these situations. Can a police officer legally stop you from filming? Let's find out.

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Whether you're headed out in support or dissent, you should know what you're getting into before you go and join a protest. Even if you think the event is purely peaceful, someone else, another protest group, or the police may all have different ideas. Here are some tips to prepare before you go out to have your voice heard.

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An Australian judge has dismissed charges of offensive language against three marriage equality protesters who were caught on camera chanting swear words. Apparently, yelling expletives into a loudspeaker on public property no longer constitutes offensive language. Good to know.

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After causing widespread panic across America, the "Creepy Clown" phenomenon has made its way to Australia. If you suffer from extreme coulrophobia, you're probably losing sleep over this. But there's no need to worry. We explain why there's no need to panic. Yet.

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Dear Lifehacker, I've been trying to find info on Airsoft and realistic firearm laws in Australia. My question is, if I were to custom make an Airsoft gun that didn't bear resemblance to an actual gun, what would happen? My intended design would make it look similar to a paintball marker and wouldn't fool anybody into thinking it was real. Will I still get fined?

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From December 1, all provisional licence holders in NSW will be banned from using their phones in any way while driving. This includes accessing GPS applications while the phone is secured in a hands-free cradle. The state government is hoping this blanket ban will reduce fatalities among new drivers who are statistically eight times more likely to have a car accident than fully licenced drivers. Is this a win for road safety or will it just lead to even more problems?

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Let's say you have information about a serious crime that, for whatever reason, you don't wish to disclose to police. Perhaps you fear repercussions from the perpetrator, have close ties to one of the guilty parties or were told about the crime in confidence long after it had been committed. Is it legal to hold your tongue and pretend you saw/heard nothing?

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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?

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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?

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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?