Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 No 103
Current version for 1 November 2014 to date (accessed 27 November 2014 at 16:19)
Part 7

Part 7 Crime scenes

Note. Safeguards relating to the exercise of powers under this Part are set out in Part 15.

88   Crime scene powers may be exercised if police officer lawfully on premises

A police officer who is lawfully on premises (whether by authority of a crime scene warrant or for any other lawful reason) may:
(a)  establish a crime scene, and
(b)  exercise crime scene powers in accordance with this Part, and
(c)  stay on the premises for those purposes.

89   Application of Part to premises

(1)  This Part applies to premises of any kind, whether or not a public place.
(2)  Despite any other provision of this Part, a police officer may exercise crime scene powers at a crime scene in a public place without obtaining a crime scene warrant and the provisions of this Part apply accordingly.
(3)  A police officer may exercise crime scene powers in relation to a vehicle, vessel or aircraft that is within a crime scene established in a public place, without obtaining a warrant, but may exercise a crime scene power that involves seizing, detaining or searching the vehicle, vessel or aircraft only if:
(a)  the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that it is necessary to do so to preserve, or search for and gather, evidence of the commission of the offence in connection with which the crime scene was established, or
(b)  the police officer is authorised to do so by a crime scene warrant or other lawful authority.

90   When crime scene may be established

(1)  A crime scene may be established on premises by a police officer if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that:
(a)  an offence committed in connection with a traffic accident that has resulted in the death of or serious injury to a person is being, or was, or may have been, committed on the premises and that it is reasonably necessary to establish a crime scene in or on the premises to preserve, or search for and gather, evidence of the commission of that offence, or
(b)  a serious indictable offence is being, or was, or may have been, committed on the premises and it is reasonably necessary to establish a crime scene in or on the premises to preserve, or search for and gather, evidence of the commission of that offence, or
(c)  there may be in or on the premises evidence of the commission of a serious indictable offence that may have been committed elsewhere and it is reasonably necessary to establish a crime scene in or on the premises to preserve, or search for and gather, evidence of the commission of that offence.
(1A)  A crime scene may also be established on premises by a police officer pursuant to the authority conferred by a crime scene warrant.
(2)  To avoid doubt, a crime scene may be established, crime scene powers may be exercised and a crime scene warrant applied for with respect to an act or omission that is a serious indictable offence even though the act or omission occurred outside New South Wales and was not an offence against the law of New South Wales, if the act or omission if done, or omitted to be done, in New South Wales would constitute a serious indictable offence.

91   Establishment of crime scene

(1)  A police officer may establish a crime scene on premises in any way that is reasonably appropriate in the circumstances.
(2)  A police officer who establishes a crime scene must, if reasonably appropriate in the circumstances, give the public notice that the premises are a crime scene.
(3)  A crime scene may not be established under this Part on the same premises more than once in a 24 hour period unless a crime scene warrant is obtained in respect of the second and any subsequent occasion.

92   Exercise of powers at crime scene

(1)  A police officer may exercise any of the crime scene powers set out in section 95 (1) (a)–(f) if:
(a)  a crime scene has been established under this Part, and
(b)  the police officer exercising the power suspects on reasonable grounds that it is necessary to do so to preserve evidence of the commission of an offence in relation to which the crime scene was established.
(2)  A police officer may exercise any of the other powers set out in section 95 (1), but only if:
(a)  a crime scene has been established under this Part, and
(b)  the police officer or another police officer applies for a crime scene warrant in respect of the crime scene, and
(c)  the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that it is necessary to immediately exercise the power to preserve evidence of the commission of an offence.
(3)  A police officer may exercise the crime scene powers conferred by this section for a period of not more than 3 hours, commencing when the crime scene is established, unless the police officer or another police officer obtains a crime scene warrant.
(4)  A police officer may exercise crime scene powers in relation to a crime scene whether or not the police officer is the person who established the crime scene.
(5)  A crime scene power that may be exercised by a police officer under this section (other than the powers set out in section 95 (1) (a)–(f) and (k)) may be exercised by a scene of crime officer, but only with the authority of the police officer who established the crime scene or is responsible for the crime scene at the time.
(6)  A crime scene power that may be exercised by a police officer under this section may be exercised by the police officer with the aid of such assistants as the police officer considers necessary.

93   Notice to senior police officer where warrant not required

If a crime scene is established for a period of 3 hours or less (otherwise than by authority of a crime scene warrant), the police officer who establishes the crime scene must notify a senior police officer of that fact.

94   Crime scene warrants

(1)  A police officer may apply to an authorised officer for a crime scene warrant if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that it is necessary for the police officer or another police officer to exercise crime scene powers at specified premises for the purpose of preserving, or searching for and gathering, evidence of the commission of:
(a)  a serious indictable offence, or
(b)  an offence that is being, or was, or may have been, committed in connection with a traffic accident that has resulted in the death of or serious injury to a person.
(2)  The authorised officer may, if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so, issue a crime scene warrant authorising any police officer to enter premises, to establish a crime scene on the premises (if a crime scene has not already been established) and to exercise all reasonably necessary crime scene powers at, or in relation to, a specified crime scene.
(3)  A police officer may, in accordance with the warrant and this Part, exercise all reasonably necessary crime scene powers.
(4)  A crime scene power that may be exercised by a police officer under this section (other than the powers set out in section 95 (1) (a)–(f) and (k)) may be exercised by a scene of crime officer, but only with the authority of a police officer who is responsible for executing the warrant.
Note 1. For provisions relating generally to applications for crime scene warrants and other matters, see section 59.
Note 2. A police officer may be assisted in the exercise of crime scene powers—see section 71.

95   Crime scene powers

(1)  A police officer may, in accordance with this Part and any relevant crime scene warrant, exercise the following functions at, or in relation to, a crime scene established under this Part:
(a)  direct a person to leave the crime scene or remove a vehicle, vessel or aircraft from the crime scene,
(b)  remove from the crime scene a person who fails to comply with a direction to leave the crime scene or a vehicle, vessel or aircraft a person fails to remove from the crime scene,
(c)  direct a person not to enter the crime scene,
(d)  prevent a person from entering the crime scene,
(e)  prevent a person from removing evidence from or otherwise interfering with the crime scene or anything in it and, for that purpose, detain and search the person,
(f)  remove or cause to be removed an obstruction from the crime scene,
(g)  perform any necessary investigation, including, for example, search the crime scene and inspect anything in it to obtain evidence of the commission of an offence,
(h)  for the purpose of performing any necessary investigation, conduct any examination or process,
(i)  open anything at the crime scene that is locked,
(j)  take electricity, gas or any other utility, for use at the crime scene,
(k)  direct the occupier of the premises or a person apparently involved in the management or control of the premises to maintain a continuous supply of electricity at the premises,
(l)  photograph or otherwise record the crime scene and anything in it,
(m)  seize and detain all or part of a thing that might provide evidence of the commission of an offence,
(n)  dig up anything at the crime scene,
(o)  remove wall or ceiling linings or floors of a building, or panels of a vehicle,
(p)  any other function reasonably necessary or incidental to a function conferred by this subsection.
(2)  The power conferred by this section to seize and detain a thing includes:
(a)  a power to remove the thing from the crime scene when it is found, and
(b)  a power to guard the thing in or on the crime scene.
(3)  Nothing in this Part prevents a police officer who is lawfully on premises from exercising a crime scene power or doing any other thing, if the occupier of the premises consents.
Note. Under section 99 a police officer may arrest and take before an authorised officer to be dealt with according to law any person found in or on the premises whom the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds of having committed an offence.

95A   Special arrangements for investigation of stolen vehicles

(1)  A scene of crime officer may establish a crime scene in relation to a vehicle in a public place if:
(a)  a vehicle has been reported as stolen by an owner or authorised user of the vehicle, and
(b)  the scene of crime officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the vehicle in relation to which the crime scene is to be established is that stolen vehicle.
(2)  Sections 91 and 93 apply in relation to a crime scene established by a scene of crime officer under this section in the same way as they apply to a crime scene established by a police officer.
(3)  A scene of crime officer may exercise any investigatory powers in relation to the vehicle at the crime scene established under this section, without a warrant, if the scene of crime officer suspects on reasonable grounds that it is reasonably necessary to exercise the investigatory powers to preserve, or search for and gather, evidence of the theft of the vehicle.
(4)  A scene of crime officer does not require the authority of a police officer to exercise investigatory powers under this section.
(5)  A scene of crime officer may exercise the investigatory powers conferred by this section for a period of not more than 3 hours, commencing when the crime scene is established, unless a police officer obtains a crime scene warrant in respect of the crime scene.
(6)  This section does not prevent a scene of crime officer from exercising any power, or doing any other thing, in relation to a vehicle if the owner or authorised user of the vehicle consents.
(7)  For the purposes of this section, investigatory powers are the crime scene powers referred to in section 95 (1) (g)–(j) and (l)–(o), including section 95 (1) (p) as it applies to those powers.

96   Obstruction or hindrance of person executing crime scene warrant

(1)  A person must not, without reasonable excuse, obstruct or hinder a person executing a crime scene warrant.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.

(2)  A person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail or refuse to comply with a request made or direction given by a police officer pursuant to the exercise of crime scene powers at a crime scene.

Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units.

97   Search warrants not affected

Nothing in this Part prevents a police officer from applying for a search warrant under Part 5, or exercising any other function under this Act at, or in relation to, a crime scene or affects the exercise of any such function.

98   Part does not confer additional entry powers

Nothing in this Part (other than the provisions relating to crime scene warrants) confers on a police officer any additional power to enter premises or limits any power that a police officer has to enter premises.
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