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Contents (2002 - 103)
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Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 No 103
Current version for 6 December 2019 to date (accessed 21 January 2020 at 08:21)
Part 4 Division 1
Division 1 General personal search and seizure powers
20   Relevant offences
The following offences are relevant offences for the purposes of this Division—
(a)  indictable offences,
(b)  an offence against section 93FB of the Crimes Act 1900,
(c)  an offence against the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998, the Firearms Act 1996, or a regulation made under either of those Acts,
(d)  an offence against a provision of Part 2 of the Explosives Act 2003.
21   Power to search persons and seize and detain things without warrant
(1)  A police officer may, without a warrant, stop, search and detain a person, and anything in the possession of or under the control of the person, if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that any of the following circumstances exists—
(a)  the person has in his or her possession or under his or her control anything stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained,
(b)  the person has in his or her possession or under his or her control anything used or intended to be used in or in connection with the commission of a relevant offence,
(c)  the person has in his or her possession or under his or her control in a public place a dangerous article that is being or was used in or in connection with the commission of a relevant offence,
(d)  the person has in his or her possession or under his or her control, in contravention of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, a prohibited plant or a prohibited drug.
(2)  A police officer may seize and detain—
(a)  all or part of a thing that the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds is stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained, and
(b)  all or part of a thing that the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds may provide evidence of the commission of a relevant offence, and
(c)  any dangerous article, and
(d)  any prohibited plant or prohibited drug in the possession or under the control of a person in contravention of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985,
found as a result of a search under this section.
21A   Ancillary power to search persons
(1)  In conducting a search of a person under section 21, a police officer may, if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that a thing referred to in section 21(1)(a), (b), (c) or (d) is concealed in the person’s mouth or hair, require the person—
(a)  to open his or her mouth to enable it to be searched, or
(b)  to shake, or otherwise move, his or her hair.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not authorise a police officer to forcibly open a person’s mouth.
(3)  A person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail or refuse to comply with a requirement made by a police officer in accordance with this section.
Maximum penalty—5 penalty units.
22   Power to seize and detain dangerous articles on premises
(cf Crimes Act 1900, s 357)
A police officer who is lawfully on any premises may seize and detain any dangerous article that the police officer finds on the premises, if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the dangerous article is being or was used in or in connection with the commission of a relevant offence.
Note.
 Premises include vessels, vehicles, aircraft and other places.
23   Power to search persons for dangerous implements without warrant in public places and schools
(1)  A police officer may, without a warrant, stop, search and detain a person who is in a public place or a school, and anything in the possession of or under the control of the person, if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the person has a dangerous implement unlawfully in the person’s possession or under the person’s control.
(2)  To avoid doubt, if the person is in a school and is a student at the school, the police officer may also search the person’s locker at the school and examine any bag or other personal effect that is inside the locker.
(3)  For the purposes of this section, the fact that a person is present in a location with a high incidence of violent crime may be taken into account in determining whether there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person has a dangerous implement in the person’s possession or under the person’s control.
(4)  In conducting a search of a student in a school under this section, a police officer must, if reasonably possible to do so, allow the student to nominate an adult who is on the school premises to be present during the search.
(5)  A police officer may seize and detain anything found as a result of a search under this section that the police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect is a dangerous implement that is unlawfully in the person’s possession or under the person’s control.
(6)  For the purposes of this section—
(a)  locker includes any facility for the storage of a student’s personal effects, and
(b)  anything inside a person’s locker is taken to be under the control of the person.