Slightly off our regular topic, however – I am currently looking over my shoulder, concerned about my recent, potentially criminal behaviour.
Less than a month ago, in Brisbane, I invited about twenty friends to a celebration in the park. I admit, it got a little out of hand. There was lots of loud running around, some litter was dropped, and my partygoers unintentionally scared away some local basketballers from the park. The basketballers were certainly intimidated by the unwanted attention from my partygoers, who were crowding around the shy basketballers in a tight circle.
It seems that I’ve fallen foul of the new provisions in the Police Powers and Responsibilities and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (fortunately for me, it’s still in Bill stage):
I held an ‘event’ according to the definition in Section 53BB. More than 3 of my guests engaged in ‘out of control conduct’ as set out in 53CC – they were certainly disorderly, and there was also some violence, they obstructed pedestrians, and there may have been some exposure of genitals. So, as the organiser of the event, I am concerned about my potential liability under 53BH. “Organising an out-of-control event” means I may be subject to a year’s imprisonment or a $12,000 fine.
That’s rather a steep price to pay for a 4 year olds’ Halloween party, in the local parkm at 4pm on a Thursday!
Clearly not the intention of this Bill, but nonetheless my innocent celebration is caught squarely within its terms. The children, after too much excitement and sugar, tried to engage the local basketballers (older teenagers) and join in their game. Not sure how to deal with the exuberant four year olds, the basketballers decided to leave the park. So, the four year olds instead ran round on the oval, occasionally getting in the way of the evening commuters cutting across the park and nearly colliding with one dog walker. They also threw a pumpkin, which split open. At one point there was an altercation, resulting in one sibling hitting another. From 4pm until just after dusk, everyone laughed and squealed loudly, and due to the absence of a working public toilet, one small boy did a ‘picnic wee’. It was just a regular, low key, afternoon of fun for the neighbourhood children.
Police Minister Dempsey will no doubt reassure me that this is not what he has in mind, but the law is the law, and this is not a law that Queensland needs.
To read more, see http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-19/berg-queensland-party-crackdown-out-of-control/5101438?pfm=ms
- Queensland’s crackdown on wild parties branded ‘anti-fun’ (abc.net.au)
- G20 summits: Do police need anonymity? (mynamebadges.com)
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