Since 8 November 2010, police officers have been able to issue infringement notices for the following offences:
- Public nuisance;
- Public urination;
- Obstruct police officer (in relation to the public nuisance or public urination offence); and
- Contravene requirement of police officer (in relation to stating correct name and address re above).
This statewide rollout follows the successful trial in the South Brisbane and Townsville police districts where officers were given the authority to issue infringement notices for these offences.
Officers will use their discretion when dealing with public nuisance offences and focus on de-escalation of the incident and only issue an infringement notice for public nuisance in circumstances where the person would have otherwise had court proceedings commenced against them for the offence.
Police officers will use the same process as is currently used when issuing traffic infringement notices. However, officers will also issue the person a ‘Public Nuisance Ticket Information Sheet’. The sheet provides information about options for payment, court election and accessing any relevant court diversion programs. Additionally, the information sheet will include contact details for local support services that may be available.
Where a person chooses to pay their infringement notice fine, there is no requirement to attend court, and no criminal history is recorded. Alternatively, a person may elect to have their matter dealt with in a court.
The issuing of an infringement notice for a public nuisance offence provides an additional option for police officers when dealing with good order offences. Issuing infringement notices for these offences will increase the efficiency of both the courts and police by reducing the requirement for offenders to appear in court unless they choose to do so.