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This pertains to your question on your legal rights following your arrest and the confiscation of your car and phone. After an appraisal of your case, I am of the opinion that Constable Green may have been entitled to confiscate your car and phone in view of the public disorder at Brighton le Sands the same day…
Policemen may use emergency powers in urgent situations.1 The powers available to the police under this section were also applied in Operation Saeta from 17-19 December 2005, immediately after the Cronulla riots, during which 16 vehicles and 56 mobile phones were seized2.
You were leaving an area where there had been a disturbance and the area had been placed under a lockdown. The law makes it clear that the police must not refuse permission to a person wishing to leave an area that has been cordoned off "unless it is reasonably necessary to do so to avoid a risk to public safety or to the person's own safety."3 But the expanded powers under Section 6A as mentioned above, do allow the police to prevent people entering and even leaving, authorized target areas where there is or has been large scale disorder. These provisions under Section 6A were also applied on 19 March 2006, to set up roadblocks and prevent cars exiting Brighton Le Sands from moving towards Cronulla, to prevent what police perceived to be threatened public disorder event. Thus, I believe Constable Green's confiscation of your phone and car may have been within legal limits.
In reference to your arrest, a person may be arrested for a breach of the peace when the policeman making the arrest has a reasonable apprehension of imminent danger of a breach of peace.4 Ho ...
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