What are assault against a non-police officer? Law enforcement officers other than police officers may face assault in the line of duty. These assaults can range from verbal abuse to physical violence, and they are taking a toll on officers’ mental and physical health.
In Australia, there are various agencies that enforce the law:
- Australian Border Force (ABF)
- Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADF)
- Australian Federal Police (AFP)
- Royal Australian Air Force Police (RAAF)
- Royal Australian Corps of Military Police (RACMP)
- Royal Australian Naval Police
Some of the law enforcement officers in these agencies are not police officers, but they may also face assault, harassment, and threat due to their line of duty.
Thus, the Crimes Act 1900 provides for the penalties against this offence under sections 60A, 60B, and 60C in order to protect the rights of non-police officer.
Penalties for Assault Against Non-Police Officers
Here’s a table of penalties and actions of assault against non-police officers based on section 60A:
|Period of Imprisonment/Fine
|A person who hinders or resists, or incites another person to hinder or resist, a law enforcement officer, other than a police officer, in the execution of the law enforcement officer’s duty commits an offence.
|12 months or a fine of 20 penalty units or both.
|A person who assaults, throws a missile at, stalks, harasses or intimidates a non-police officer while in the execution of the officer’s duty, although no actual bodily harm is occasioned to the officer.
|A person who, during a public disorder, assaults, throws a missile at, stalks, harasses or intimidates a non-police officer, in the execution of the officer’s duty commits an offence.
|A person who assaults a non-police officer while in the execution of the officer’s duty, and by the assault occasions actual bodily harm.
|A person commits an offence if, during a public disorder, the person:
– assaults a non-police officer, in the execution of the officer’s duty, and
– such assault causes actual bodily harm to the officer.
|A person who by any means:
– wounds or causes grievous bodily harm to a non-police officer while in the execution of the officer’s duty, and
– is reckless as to causing actual bodily harm to that officer or any other person.
|A person commits an offence if, during a public disorder, the person by any means:
– wounds or causes grievous bodily harm to a non-police officer, in the execution of the officer’s duty, and
– is reckless as to causing actual bodily harm to the officer or another person.
Note that even if the non-police officer is not on duty when the act is committed, Section 60A nonetheless considers it to be directed towards the officer when the officer is performing his official duties:
- as a result of, or in retribution for, actions committed by the officer while doing his or her duties,
- owing to the officer’s status as a law enforcement official.
What if the Act Was Directed Against a Third Party Who Is Connected to a Law Enforcement Officer or Non-police Officer?
Section 60B discusses two situations:
- where a person assaults, stalks, harasses or intimidates any person with whom a law enforcement officer has a domestic relationship, and
- where a person obtains personal information about a person with whom the officer has a domestic relationship.
In connection with point (2), section 60C provides that obtaining personal information about the law enforcement officer is also punishable. The offender must have the intention of using or permitting the use of the information for the purpose of assaulting, stalking, harassing, intimidating, or otherwise harming the officer.
By such offensive acts, the offender intends to cause the officer physical or mental harm:
- due to the acts committed by the officer committed in the course of performing their duty, or
- as a reprisal.
Hence, a person who is found guilty of these offences can face imprisonment for 5 years. Moreover, this section provides that the prosecution need not prove that:
- the person alleged to have been assaulted, stalked, harassed, or intimidated, or
- the law enforcement officer,
actually feared physical or mental harm.
When Does a Person Have a Domestic Relationship With Another Person?
- is or has been married to the other person, or
- is or has been a de facto partner of that other person, or
- has or has had an intimate personal relationship with the other person, whether or not the intimate relationship involves or has involved a relationship of a sexual nature, or
- is living or has lived in the same household as the other person, or
- is living or has lived as a long-term resident in the same residential facility as the other person and at the same time as the other person (not being a facility that is a correctional centre within the meaning of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 or a detention centre within the meaning of the Children (Detention Centres) Act 1987), or
- has or has had a relationship involving his or her dependence on the ongoing paid or unpaid care of the other person, or
- is or has been a relative of the other person, or
- in the case of an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander, is or has been part of the extended family or kin of the other person according to the Indigenous kinship system of the person’s culture.
Talk to a Criminal Offence Lawyer
A criminal offence lawyer can provide legal advice to clients who are facing charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer. At JB Solicitors, our lawyers will explain to you the charges and the potential consequences of a conviction.
We also offer these services:
- Representing clients in court and challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution and argue for a reduction in charges or a dismissal of the case.
- Our solicitors can negotiate with the prosecution to reach a plea bargain that reduces the charges or the potential sentence.
- If the court finds the client guilty, we can argue for a reduced sentence by presenting mitigating factors such as the client’s lack of criminal history or the circumstances surrounding the offence.
- Ensure the protection of the client’s rights throughout the legal process. Our solicitors can challenge any violations of the client’s rights and ensure that the client receives fair treatment.
Submit an enquiry here for more information about assault against a non-police officer.