20 police break up a Civic blue

johnboy 14 March 2011 48

ACT Policing officers responding to reports of a disturbance in the early hours of Sunday morning (March 13) were required to draw their batons and use Oleoresin Capsicum spray to protect a security staff member being assaulted outside a Civic nightclub.

Police were called to the Northbourne Avenue location around 12.30am on Sunday morning after reports of a conflict outside the nightclub involving a member of the security staff and a male patron who had been ejected on suspicion of property damage. Police had remained in the immediate area after a dispute some 15 minutes earlier, and attended as the fighting broke out again and spilled onto the street.

One police officer moved to assist a security guard who was on the ground and being assaulted. As he intervened, the police officer was threatened with violence by members of the crowd. A second police officer went to his assistance, and was required to use OC spray to protect his fellow officer and the security guard. Batons were drawn by the two officers, but not used.

A call for assistance by police drew an attendance of around 20 officers, whose prompt arrival quickly dispersed the crowd. Police also issued a number of formal “move-on” notices.

A 25-year-old man from Nicholls was arrested and charged with common assault. He was later bailed from the ACT Watch House and will appear in court on a later date.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]


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48 Responses to 20 police break up a Civic blue
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fgzk fgzk 9:18 am 21 Mar 11

What does it matter what it is tooks. If you disagree and do not comply, all you can do is stand up and become a target. All the AFP can do is bring aggressive force. Its the way of world. You are all heroes protecting peace, one shotgun shell at a time.

Good question though, who’s doing the winding up. Its never the AFP.

Tooks Tooks 8:07 pm 20 Mar 11

fgzk said :

I would take photos and post a story. But thats me. Being shot at whilst protesting is a wet dream. I might feel differently if I lived in Libya. The AFP just played its part like so many other police and military around the world. They fired guns on civilians. Who was it that approved shotguns? Can we expect the same treatment on the streets of Canberra?

I’ll assume this is a wind up.

The Dark The Dark 2:07 am 20 Mar 11

Tooks said :

Yes, but you weren’t arrested or charged, I’m assuming? BTW, what do you mean he almost decked you?

Yeah, I wasn’t in the end, but he still threatened without justification to arrest me, fine me, etc… if I didn’t pick up rubbish that was not mine and was nowhere near me, just to bully me and my friends into complying and picking it up. I knew I didn’t have to pick it up as he didn’t have anything to arrest me for legitimately, but I still knew it was a bad idea to push it, thus my friends worried about me complied.

By Almost decked me, I mean he told me to pick up the rubbish and I told him that it wasn’t mine and that there was a cleaner guy that gets paid to do it anyway (coz he’d been ranting that people with they’re kids would have to pick it up otherwise or some other crap) and he came right up to me (I was sitting on a cut down tree trunk so we were at about the same head height), closed his fists and dropped his right shoulder and then told me not to be a smart *rse or I’d be in ‘alot of trouble’, then went on about how he should ‘take me down the station’ right now and ‘charge’ me for littering and such. His partner then started going through a bag that was sitting next to me (that they thought was mine) untill I asked if they were allowed to just go through people stuff without asking, then the first cop was straight back in my face telling me they could if noone claimed it(?), I told them it belonged to a friend, so they said they could do what they wanted with it if someone didn’t put there name to it, so I told them I would put my name to it as I knew all there was in the bag was an unoppened 8-pack and so they took my details, threatened to fine me for the previous litter and checked for warrants or whatever with my id, the first cop had been searching the bag for so long I stopped paying attention to answer the aggressive cops questions about previous dealings with the cops and such, during this time my friends (thinking I was going to be arrested had gone and picked up all the rubbish and put it in the bin) I didn’t realise until after they had left but the cop searching the bag had opened the 8pack and taken one of the beers without so much as a word and then they just walked off. It was a strange incident to say the least.

fgzk fgzk 7:52 pm 19 Mar 11

I would take photos and post a story. But thats me. Being shot at whilst protesting is a wet dream. I might feel differently if I lived in Libya. The AFP just played its part like so many other police and military around the world. They fired guns on civilians. Who was it that approved shotguns? Can we expect the same treatment on the streets of Canberra?

Tooks Tooks 12:22 pm 19 Mar 11

fgzk said :

The use of non lethal weapons by the AFP to gain compliance of a crowd is not off topic. How many off the officers on Christmas Island are Canberra police.

I know you’re not a big fan of police in general, but I don’t see why you’d have a problem with the use of force in this situation:

Federal police on the island used tear gas and bean-bag rounds to try to control around 250 detainees who rioted for four hours on Thursday night, the fourth night of disturbances on the island in the last week.

The rioters set fire to accommodation at the centre, forcing around 200 asylum seekers to be moved.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Lancaster says up to 250 protesters advanced aggressively at police officers during the riot.

Whilst throwing rocks in the direction of police, the protesters were also wearing cloths and towels over their heads and faces in an attempt to avoid exposure to CS gas or other use-of-force options available to police,” he said.

Try to put yourself in that situation and tell me you would do.

fgzk fgzk 8:51 am 19 Mar 11

The use of non lethal weapons by the AFP to gain compliance of a crowd is not off topic. How many off the officers on Christmas Island are Canberra police.

Tooks Tooks 1:43 pm 18 Mar 11

fgzk said :

Tooks said :

facet said :

The AFP are always on for a bit of biff (anywhere any time) with reports that they have started thumping those nasty boat people on Christmas Island.

And your problem with police using force in a riot is what exactly?

That in a confined environment it escalates the violence. Violence breeds violence. If you use violence to disperse a crowd and then stop it forming again it might have some tactical use. To used it within a detention facility will only bring a greater reaction. Lets say fire bombing. To use shot guns on a confined civilian population who are desperate is stupid. The only way to reduce violence is to reduce it in all forms. Politically the use of violence has many more subtle outcomes usually covering up the failures of politics. So I would think it’s fine to have a problem.

That’s ridiculous. What would you use against 200 violent people setting fire to the facility? Hugs and kisses? Please and thank you? Get real. Anyway, way off topic – I won’t go there.

fgzk fgzk 9:30 am 18 Mar 11

Tooks said :

facet said :

The AFP are always on for a bit of biff (anywhere any time) with reports that they have started thumping those nasty boat people on Christmas Island.

And your problem with police using force in a riot is what exactly?

That in a confined environment it escalates the violence. Violence breeds violence. If you use violence to disperse a crowd and then stop it forming again it might have some tactical use. To used it within a detention facility will only bring a greater reaction. Lets say fire bombing. To use shot guns on a confined civilian population who are desperate is stupid. The only way to reduce violence is to reduce it in all forms. Politically the use of violence has many more subtle outcomes usually covering up the failures of politics. So I would think it’s fine to have a problem.

Tooks Tooks 8:23 am 18 Mar 11

@ buzz819 – I understand the courts have a hard time prosecuting this sort of thing, thats why I also mentioned ‘offensive behaviour’… hence, angry screaming in public. If they can’t get the affray charge, charge the whole pack that was there with offensive behaviour, they get to either cop a fine or fight it in court and have the CCTV show whether they were ‘being offensive’ or not, pretty simple to figure that bit out, ‘were you yelling and screaming in public whilst massed as a group?

I don’t really disagree with your line of thinking, but this suggestion is just not realistic and would never fly. You’d have difficulty running an offensive behaviour charge in the CBD at the best of times.

@ Tooks – I don’t claim to be an expert, I have just spent alot of time dealing with the police over the last few years, an when police want to prove a point they will throw out ‘crimes’ you have ‘committed’ let right and centre, no matter how hard it will be to prove these ridiculous accusations, I had a cop almost deck me, then record my details and then threaten to ‘arrest’ me for ‘littering’

Yes, but you weren’t arrested or charged, I’m assuming? BTW, what do you mean he almost decked you?

and i’ve noticed its this sort of police behaviour that leads to compliance from the general public, especially when they are drunk, arrest afew of them for the offensive behaviour,

They are not arrested for offensive behaviour, but most likely for being intoxicated and disorderly in a public place. This allows police to arrest someone then release them without charge when they are sober. I believe like in the UK, people should get a fine as well, but in this city, they spend a few hours in a cell then are released scot free.

because they are in a crowd of people yelling and screaming in an ‘offensive manner’, once they have to waste they’re time in court defending and probably still receiving a fairly substantial fine, they will start to think that maybe participating in such activities is a bad idea, thus making these incidents a less likely occurrence (nobody wants to pay a couple of hundred bucks just to yell at a cop), especially when combed with a regular police presence around problem areas.

The the following articles should give you a bit of an idea about how the Courts view offensive language directed at police:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/queensland-magistrate-rules-it-acceptable-to-tell-cops-to-f-off/story-e6frf7l6-1225901977888

http://www.news.com.au/national/its-ok-to-call-a-cop-a-pk-rules-magistrate-robbie-williams/story-e6frfkvr-1225861766751

Once again, to both replies, I’m not trying to claim I’m an expert on all things law, I just have alot of experience with how police deal with various ‘public order’ issues and the tricks they use to enforce ‘the law’ on non-compliants.

There aren’t really any tricks, just certain powers they can use.

The Dark The Dark 9:43 pm 17 Mar 11

@ buzz819 – I understand the courts have a hard time prosecuting this sort of thing, thats why I also mentioned ‘offensive behaviour’… hence, angry screaming in public. If they can’t get the affray charge, charge the whole pack that was there with offensive behaviour, they get to either cop a fine or fight it in court and have the CCTV show whether they were ‘being offensive’ or not, pretty simple to figure that bit out, ‘were you yelling and screaming in public whilst massed as a group? yes? ok, fined.’ done, they will realise it will cost them up to $1000 every time they mass in a group and try having a go at cops (till the cops pull out weapons and they back down, ofcourse) and other patrons an such of a friday/saturday/etc night for the sake of it or coz they’re pissed or whatever excuse they want to try. Atleast it would be a start compared to, ‘oh no, we can’t do anything to stop this long term, we may aswell just tell them to take they’re mob to a more secluded part of the city so they can bash people out of the public eye’.

@ Tooks – I don’t claim to be an expert, I have just spent alot of time dealing with the police over the last few years, an when police want to prove a point they will throw out ‘crimes’ you have ‘committed’ let right and centre, no matter how hard it will be to prove these ridiculous accusations, I had a cop almost deck me, then record my details and then threaten to ‘arrest’ me for ‘littering’, because I told him beer bottles 50 metres away weren’t mine and I didn’t think i should have to pick them up (to be honest they really weren’t mine, though I did know who had left them there, as I pointed out to him, he didn’t care), and i’ve noticed its this sort of police behaviour that leads to compliance from the general public, especially when they are drunk, arrest afew of them for the offensive behaviour, because they are in a crowd of people yelling and screaming in an ‘offensive manner’, once they have to waste they’re time in court defending and probably still receiving a fairly substantial fine, they will start to think that maybe participating in such activities is a bad idea, thus making these incidents a less likely occurrence (nobody wants to pay a couple of hundred bucks just to yell at a cop), especially when combed with a regular police presence around problem areas.

Point being, if cops can’t enforce real laws, they still have plenty of tools to help maintain order.

Once again, to both replies, I’m not trying to claim I’m an expert on all things law, I just have alot of experience with how police deal with various ‘public order’ issues and the tricks they use to enforce ‘the law’ on non-compliants.

Tooks Tooks 8:10 am 17 Mar 11

Whats the point of deeming something a crime if you cant be *rsed enforcing it, even with 20 cops in attendance…

Here we go – another expert on policing. Ok, I’ll bite…

Does the crime of Affray only exist to tac onto bikies charge sheets when they get picked up punching on at Airports and the like? Coz it seems pretty black and white, you act in a genuinely threatening manner and you have commited Affray and as it says “maximum penalty 10 years” no on the spot fine no whatever, arrest, (probably) good behavior or whatever, but still, its a real crime and should be treated as such, even just to freak these people out at the thought of having to go to court, on the spot fine crimes are nothing, noone takes them seriously and the big money OTS fines are for things WITHIN the premises anyway, out of the eyes of the cops most of the time.

It’s all well and good to look up legislation and say “look, here’s what they should’ve done” but here’s the thing, identity of the offender is kind of important when charging someone with a crime. In this situation we have two officers been threatened by certain members (not all) of a large crowd. 20 more officers turn up and the crowd quickly disperses. How do the two officers realistically single out who said and did what?

And even if Affray seems abit extreme, how about just slapping everyone in the mob of people with Offensive behaviour

See above. How do you identify who did what? Very easy for an alleged offender to say,
“yep I was in the crowd, but I never threatened anyone.”
“But you were seen on CCTV moving your lips and looking angry.”
“I was telling the other people to leave the police alone.”

An they can either take the fine or fight it in court with the CCTV evidence to back them up if they really didn’t do anything wrong.
Take the fine? You do realise there’s no on-the-spot fine for Offensive Behaviour, right? And if someone is standing in a crowd yelling abuse, is CCTV going to prove what they said? No.

Hows that as a start to cracking down on the violence in civic?

A start? Look, I know you’re probably trying to be constructive, but do yourself a favour and spend some time in the Magistrate’s Court as they deal with the many assault cases brought from charges stemming from violence in the CBD every weekend. Reading the Crimes Act, Criminal Code etc doesn’t make you an expert on such matters.

Seriously, if you are interested in law enforcement and the justice system, go to Court and have a look at the level of proof needed to convict someone. Or if you can’t be bothered doing that, go to the ACT Courts site and read some of the Magistrate Court decisions and Supreme Court judgements – you may even learn something.

Oh, on another note, if police charged every person who verbally threatened them, the Courts would need to build another couple of stories to deal with it. That kind of thing is generally water of a duck’s back (I’ll kill you; I’ll bash you if I see you off duty; I’ll rape your wife/sister/daughter; I’m gonna find out where you live etc etc etc) Assaulting police is a different matter.

buzz819 buzz819 7:35 am 17 Mar 11

The Dark said :

Whats the point of deeming something a crime if you cant be *rsed enforcing it, even with 20 cops in attendance…

Affray
A person commits an offence if—
(a) the person uses, or threatens to use, unlawful violence towards
someone else; and
(b) the use or threat would be likely to cause a reasonable person
to fear for his or her safety; and
(c) either—
(i) the person intends to use or threaten unlawful violence; or
(ii) the person is, or ought to be, aware that the use or threat
of unlawful violence would be likely to cause a
reasonable person to fear for his or her safety.
Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 10 years.

Does the crime of Affray only exist to tac onto bikies charge sheets when they get picked up punching on at Airports and the like? Coz it seems pretty black and white, you act in a genuinely threatening manner and you have commited Affray and as it says “maximum penalty 10 years” no on the spot fine no whatever, arrest, (probably) good behavior or whatever, but still, its a real crime and should be treated as such, even just to freak these people out at the thought of having to go to court, on the spot fine crimes are nothing, noone takes them seriously and the big money OTS fines are for things WITHIN the premises anyway, out of the eyes of the cops most of the time.

And even if Affray seems abit extreme, how about just slapping everyone in the mob of people with

Offensive behaviour
A person shall not in, near, or within the view or hearing of a person
in, a public place behave in a riotous, indecent, offensive or
insulting manner.
Maximum penalty: $1 000.

An they can either take the fine or fight it in court with the CCTV evidence to back them up if they really didn’t do anything wrong.

Hows that as a start to cracking down on the violence in civic?

Put a uniform on and find out what the courts expect.

Because it has been case law to say a Police officer can not be offended a member of the public has to say they were offended by the behavior, for it to even go near being a charge.

A person commits an offence if—
(a) the person uses, or threatens to use, unlawful violence towards
someone else; and
(b) the use or threat would be likely to cause a reasonable person
to fear for his or her safety; and
(c) either—
(i) the person intends to use or threaten unlawful violence; or
(ii) the person is, or ought to be, aware that the use or threat
of unlawful violence would be likely to cause a
reasonable person to fear for his or her safety.

It’s part c that makes that offence pretty much useless. The Police need to prove that the person either knew what he was doing would cause someone to fear or that they actually intend to carry out that threat, which means all they need to do is get up in court and say “Nah, I was joking” convince the judge of that and it all get’s thrown out.

If the courts can’t get a murder through with the offender stabbing the victim 50 odd times, what do you think the chances of getting that through the courts is?

Then as I said, you need to identify the persons who were causing the problem, yeah, there is CCTV, but it doesn’t have sound and the officers on the ground don’t have instant access to it to try and identify the offenders.

The Dark The Dark 11:56 pm 16 Mar 11

Whats the point of deeming something a crime if you cant be *rsed enforcing it, even with 20 cops in attendance…

Affray
A person commits an offence if—
(a) the person uses, or threatens to use, unlawful violence towards
someone else; and
(b) the use or threat would be likely to cause a reasonable person
to fear for his or her safety; and
(c) either—
(i) the person intends to use or threaten unlawful violence; or
(ii) the person is, or ought to be, aware that the use or threat
of unlawful violence would be likely to cause a
reasonable person to fear for his or her safety.
Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 10 years.

Does the crime of Affray only exist to tac onto bikies charge sheets when they get picked up punching on at Airports and the like? Coz it seems pretty black and white, you act in a genuinely threatening manner and you have commited Affray and as it says “maximum penalty 10 years” no on the spot fine no whatever, arrest, (probably) good behavior or whatever, but still, its a real crime and should be treated as such, even just to freak these people out at the thought of having to go to court, on the spot fine crimes are nothing, noone takes them seriously and the big money OTS fines are for things WITHIN the premises anyway, out of the eyes of the cops most of the time.

And even if Affray seems abit extreme, how about just slapping everyone in the mob of people with

Offensive behaviour
A person shall not in, near, or within the view or hearing of a person
in, a public place behave in a riotous, indecent, offensive or
insulting manner.
Maximum penalty: $1 000.

An they can either take the fine or fight it in court with the CCTV evidence to back them up if they really didn’t do anything wrong.

Hows that as a start to cracking down on the violence in civic?

Ozi Ozi 5:04 pm 16 Mar 11

Tooks said :

BTW, define ‘causing a disturbance.’ You want people locked up for yelling and carrying on?

Sounds like he does. I was going to correct his post but you’ve already taken care of that, tooks.

And likewise: sure haven’t heard of any female constables being assaulted with a bottle recently. About a year ago one was hit by an air-born citric missile (ACM, or ‘Lemon’) but she was fine afterwards, just a bit sour about the whole incident.

Tooks Tooks 3:23 pm 16 Mar 11

You missed my point. My point was that in the past, if there was a big brawl, there were often many people charged. If someone assaulted police, they were charged. There have been so many stories in recent weeks like this of brawls happening with one person being charged and a few given cautions.

Dvaey, no police were assaulted in this incident. And how do you know many people were charged in past brawls?

Charge those involved with assault, and make an example that violence wont be tolerated.

The only assault was on a security guard, for which the offender was arrested and charged. One offence, one arrest.

I was also thinking of a story recently where a female police officer was attacked with a bottle, and no-one was charged. It wasnt a serious injury, but it was enough to be reported in the police wrap

I don’t recall that incident. A female Sgt was assaulted recently and the offender was charged.

Are there not CCTV cameras in the area? When the sheep went missing, they turned to CCTV to identify the offender, why is it good enough for assault on property, but not assault on people? If they were causing a disturbance it doesnt matter if they stopped by the time the police arrived, there is still evidence to bring charges available to them.

There was only one offence detected: the assault on the bouncer. There’s no mention at all of any other people being assaulted in this incident.

BTW, define ‘causing a disturbance.’ You want people locked up for yelling and carrying on?

Tooks Tooks 3:14 pm 16 Mar 11

facet said :

The AFP are always on for a bit of biff (anywhere any time) with reports that they have started thumping those nasty boat people on Christmas Island.

And your problem with police using force in a riot is what exactly?

dvaey dvaey 2:39 pm 16 Mar 11

Ozi said :

Yeah because there were never big brawls before they brought in Criminal Infringement Notices.

You missed my point. My point was that in the past, if there was a big brawl, there were often many people charged. If someone assaulted police, they were charged. There have been so many stories in recent weeks like this of brawls happening with one person being charged and a few given cautions.

I agree with what you said, prevention is better than sorting out the problem afterwards. but as good as cautions are, if people keep seeing these things happening with no consequences, why will those who are involved change their ways? Charge those involved with assault, and make an example that violence wont be tolerated.

I was also thinking of a story recently where a female police officer was attacked with a bottle, and no-one was charged. It wasnt a serious injury, but it was enough to be reported in the police wrap.

When they arrived I can guarantee that none of the persons that were at the initial disturbance were being disorderly or braking the law

Are there not CCTV cameras in the area? When the sheep went missing, they turned to CCTV to identify the offender, why is it good enough for assault on property, but not assault on people? If they were causing a disturbance it doesnt matter if they stopped by the time the police arrived, there is still evidence to bring charges available to them.

facet facet 12:54 pm 16 Mar 11

The AFP are always on for a bit of biff (anywhere any time) with reports that they have started thumping those nasty boat people on Christmas Island.

buzz819 buzz819 11:14 am 16 Mar 11

dvaey said :

buzz819 said :

So for totally different offences, for totally different things, how can you say that the Police are substituting arrests for infringements?

Because arrest numbers are going down and infringement numbers are going up? Maybe substituting isnt the right word.. maybe re-focusing their efforts is a better way to put it.. the fact that we seem to have these big brawls, with police being assaulted and only ending up with one person receiving a minor charge, shows me that the system isnt working. Do you believe it is?

Ahh I see what you are saying, Police should lock up more people because that shows they are doing their job and being more productive, right?

While I see where you are coming from in regards to the whole one person being apprehended thing, no Police officers were attacked, none were injured, the statement says that they were “threatened” with violence. No where does it say that one was assaulted.

You have a crowd of 20 or 30 people yelling, would you be able identify the one that did the threatening, while you are trying to detain someone for assaulting a crowd controller. I bet you can’t, therefore you can’t just run around arresting people.

From that release it looks like the male who was attacking the security guard was the one that was sprayed. Everyone else moved away when the Police drew batons.

While 20 Police officers sounds excessive at that time you would be looking at having 4 or 5 cars in the city patrol, the same in Gungahlin and Belconnen, so that is 20 – 25 cars on the northside, all relatively close to Northborne ave. So in Theory 40 – 50 Police could have turned up.

When they arrived I can guarantee that none of the persons that were at the initial disturbance were being disorderly or braking the law, you have a look through the criminal code, the liquor act and hell why not the roads and transport act and you tell me under what act do the Police have powers to lock up people who; a) are not breaking the law b) are milling around doing nothing and c) leave when requested or after giving a move on direction?

Have a look at section 212 of the Crimes Act 1900, tell me where does it say you can arrest people for no reason; or section 4 of Intoxicated People (Care and Protection) Act 1994, hmm doesn’t say in there either. Or maybe the Liquor Act 2010…. Ummm… No… No, that doesn’t let Police just lock up random people who didn’t commit offences.

The drop in arrests should be seen as a positive, it means that the amount of assaults, intoxicated and disorderly people are dropping, how can you not see that?

Ozi Ozi 10:32 am 16 Mar 11

dvaey said :

Because arrest numbers are going down and infringement numbers are going up? Maybe substituting isnt the right word.. maybe re-focusing their efforts is a better way to put it.. the fact that we seem to have these big brawls, with police being assaulted and only ending up with one person receiving a minor charge, shows me that the system isnt working. Do you believe it is?

If the reasons Ive suggesetd arent right, do you have any better ideas why this can happen, after the introduction of new laws specifically for these issues? The police are apparently being givern stronger and stronger laws and resources, but the arrest numbers are going down? You can criticize my comments all you want, but the lower arrest numbers (and increase in infringement numbers) are coming straight from the AFP releases… if you know something the AFP media doesnt, Im sure we’d all love to hear it

Yeah because there were never big brawls before they brought in Criminal Infringement Notices. *rolls eyes* I for one think there need to be more Police working “Beats Crew” shifts in the city on the Thursday – Sunday nights. And if a move on direction and stronger liquor laws can solve an issue prior to assaults and more serious offences occurring, isn’t that a GOOD thing? Surely prevention is better than reacting to offences once they have already been committed?

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