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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 92375 Find in a Library
Title: Street Offences - Proceedings of a Seminar
Corporate Author: Institute of Criminology
Sydney University Law School
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 75
Sponsoring Agency: Institute of Criminology
Sydney, 2000, Australia
New South Wales
Pyrmont, NSW 2009, Australia
Sale Source: New South Wales
Government Printing Office
P.O. Box 75
Pyrmont, NSW 2009,
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Papers by police officers, lawyers, and a community representative addressed the controversy surrounding Australia's street offense laws, particularly the l979 Offenses in Public Places Act which replaced the l97O Summary Offenses Act and in effect decriminalized soliciting and loitering for the purposes of prostitution.
Abstract: A public defender and official from the New South Wales (NSW) Department of the Attorney General and Justice pronounced the 1979 law effective, although some problems had occurred. He cited the more than 7,OOO convictions obtained under the Act's section 5 as proof that citizens can walk the streets with appropriate legal protection. In contrast, a spokesman for the Darlinghurst residents' action group called the law a failure, citing increases in both street crimes and prostitution. A senior police official reviewed the history of Australia's street offense legislation and court interpretations of these laws. He also commented on the defects of the Offenses in Public Places Act, the lack of police powers in controlling prostitution, and the l979 Intoxicated Persons Act decriminalizing drunkenness. A lawyer from the NSW Supreme Court claimed the police had abused the Intoxicated Persons Act. Finally, an analysis of street offense cases from 1978 and 1980 showed that the range of behavior covered by the old and new Acts was the same, although the emphasis had changed. The new act was more effective against very serious behavior. Tables and a summary of the concluding discussion are provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Criminal Solicitation; Decriminalization; Drunk offenders; Law reform; Prostitution; Public order offenses
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