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VIC Vehicle searches - Legality thereof

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by mjt57, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. What's the legality of the police searching a private vehicle?

    In the local rag tonight there was an article on a "blitz" where police were pulling over vehicles and searching them.

    I was of the view that they needed a warrant and a reasonable justification to search it. This sounded like a RBT stop where instead they were conducting searches, much like a fishing expedition, to see what could be found.

    I thought that this wasn't allowed. Maybe I've been wrong with this assumption.

    Thoughts, anyone?
  2. In NSW under the crimes act Police can search a vehicle if they have reasonable cause. The definition of "reasonable" is a little open to interpretation.
  3. That's how I understood it to work here in Vic as well. But a roadside "Random Vehicle Search" operation doesn't even sound like it comes under "reasonable cause".

    Speaking of random searches I just spoke to my wife. She went through security at SYD airport on her way to the US. There she had her stuff searched then was asked to step to one side while they conducted a "random" search using scanners, metal/drug/explosive detectors and finally a pat down.

    She asked the officer if she looked like a crook or a terrorist. She was told, "Oh no madam, this is purely random.".

    She said that on her last two trips that she had the same thing happen. She was dressed casually, yet no-one wearing business suits, etc. seemed to be stopped for a "random" search at any time while she was there.

    As for the security systems in place at airports, all it is, as the CEO of El Al said, a system for annoying the travelling public, not for anything security related.

    Back to the topic at hand I think that it's as subjective as the prejudice of the officers' concerned can be. eg. "Oi, Jock, that guy looks like he may be a crook. Pull him in and we'll strip the car down. Let's see if we find anything."
  4. My knowledge is a bit out-of-date but...

    It used to be "reasonable cause" was required to do any random search, be it of vehicle or person.
    "Reasonable cause" did not include the copper saying "Hey, you look dodgy", but did include an un-named member of the public telling the copper "I saw him do something that looked dodgy". This was not a difficult thing to manufacter if required - so it never prevented anything. If you looked dodgy you got searched. You did have the ability to question the motive for being searched.

    Given the number of civil rights we seem have lost to regulation (cloaked in the form of anti-terrorism) in the last few years I would not be suprised if arbitrary search is now legit, or at least easier to abuse than before.
  5. ^^^ Airport security in my opinion has a little to do with actual security, but a lot to do with giving people the impression of security. People see all the security and so they feel safer, even though they probably arent much safer at all.

    re random vehicle searches - I had the same understanding as you guys. I think its one of those things where the police can (and regularly do) try and flex their muscles beyond their boundaries.

    Of course perhaps the Police had intel that a drug shipment was going along that road that day, so maybe that would be considered "reasonable cause" to search cars??? I dont know, just guessing. I suspect its more likely the cops had no right to do it, but did anyway.
  6. When i went on holiday, I made a bad decision not to shave. Turns out that a beard and long hair gets you special treatment on all the seemingly random searches.
  7. Just wait til she try's to come home the septics are mental at airports.
    If your flight details change you are searched every step of the way. Funny thing is I had the same ticket as Mrs 2wheelsagain but it was me who almost copped a internal search at Dallas FtWorth. Thats after a step aside pat down/grope at Tampa. Time in a special chamber at JFK. Glad I dont wear a towl on my head.
  8. Carry a bible in your glovebox, or luggage. Tell the bastards that you are going to a Christian Fellowship Meeting.
  9. #9 loki, Jul 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2014
    airport security is almost laughable
    we have clients there that i do some work for, the amount of times i may or may not have unwittingly forgotten to leave my swisscard in the car, and only been stopped to be asked to step aside for the random explosives test before continuing on my merry way.

    i thought it was just my freckles. my people cop so much oppression, they see the freckles and think "we got a hot one here! see those freckles? he must be up to MISCHIEF! get 'im, boys"
    my friend's mothers wouldn't let their children play with me at school. they said i was trouble. god-damn racists. my people don't even get government hand-outs or uni placements! talk about oppressed.
    always trying to keep a freckled brother down

    god-bless social camouflage.
    i used my free World Youth Day yellow bracelet to help talk my way out of a neg driving charge and licence suspension last week. the nice policeman was very understanding of my beliefs and cold tires and accidently bumping the traction control button off. i shook his hand and thanked him. might have even popped a 'god bless you' into there somewhere
  10. :LOL: nice one :)
  11. We do have to have some reason to enter your car. Can be to conduct a roadworthy check e.g check your park brake, foot pedals, spare wheel etc. etc.. we have a power to enter to conduct a PBT or to effect an arrest. We also have other search powers to search for drugs/weapons etc. where we have to have reasonable grounds. Basically, we have heaps of powers to enter your vehicle and have a look around without warrant, so it's pretty hard to say "No, bugger off"
  12. Bugger off Freddy :LOL:
  13. You have the power to conduct a search of the vehicle, but still require reasonable cause. This means a quick look around the vehicle, and a look at any items in plain / open view.

    A more extensive search (for example locked areas) requires:
    (a) permission; or
    (b) a warrant.

    If people are pulled over, the smartest idea is to give permission.
    If you don't wish to give permission (for whatever reason) and they insist on going ahead state politely but firmly that you consider this search to be unlawful and that you are informing legal counsel of it (the search).
  14. & hide your drugs in the bible.
  15. That's when they start checking your seatbelts/seats for its stability because it's a roadworthy item. I know people who have had cops get in their car, muck around with the handbrake and wobble their seats around. They can check the security of the rear seats/parcel shelf etc.

    Not allowing them in the car to check for ADR/Roadworthy compliance is analogous to refusing to open the bonnet.

    They've got a way around it, but unless you're carrying drugs, weapons etc. Who cares?
  16. I wonder if anyone's ever had their motorbike searched? Plenty of handy little stash spots really.
  17. Sorry for being off topic.

    To everyone who says passenger screening is a joke at airports, I would like to see you try smuggling a metal knife through screening and see if you get through or not. Although nobody would be stupid enough to do it, I can tell you, you won't get through. Yes it does inconvenience people, but people must understand its better to inconvenience people than to open yourself up for weapons to pass through and have some nut case try and hijack and aircraft.

    I agree though, ETD (Explosive Trace Detection) tests are purely random.

    Security screening of passengers is a government regulation set out by the Office of Transport Security.
  18. lol ask any outlaw gang....
  19. add to that......... "A member of the police force may, for the purpose of establishing the identity of the driver of a motor vehicle or arresting a person or carrying out the provisions of section 53, 54, 55
    or 55A, enter the motor vehicle using, if necessary, reasonable force, if the driver refuses or fails to obey any lawful direction given to him
    or her by the member of the police force"....... so 4 or 5 powers of entry under the Road Safety Act, plus the 4 powers you have already mentioned, plus powers under the Crimes Act plus maybe a few others I can't think of and I would call that "heaps". Then again, "Heaps" may have been a little excessive. Granted.

    mmmmmm, donuts! Certainly no harm in asking. Personally, I would advise on even waiting for the reply before agreeing. :p :LOL:

    Not quite sure what you mean here. We would be a bit silly to do a search without a legal right and yes you should complain or seek advice if you think an illegal search has taken place.

    Plenty of avenues for complaint. Station supervisor, Ethical Standards, OPI, Ombudsman....... We cop complaints all the time. Both legitimate and those that just waste everybody's time.

    From the article....

    I tend to agree with that bit.

    Why use the term "limp wristed" if you're not meaning to be offensive.

    I was talking about "search" powers as well as "entry" powers. Sorry if the latter was off topic :roll: I most certainly can "look" in the interior of your vehicle. (and your locked boot for that matter) as part of a roadworthy check. That's where I think it is a bit grey, I mean, I can't keep my eyes closed while I am checking your brake pedals, hand brake, seats etc. etc. If I happen to find drugs while doing that, does that make it an illegal "search" :? I very much doubt it although I'd be interested in thoughts from thetramp64 on that particular point.

    Why the hell would I want to come near your "shit" anyway ???? :?

    Telling cops to "fcuk off.... is a piece of piss" "what others think" ........ and you think I'm full of myself???? :shock: I'm sorry if my post comes across that way, I was actually just trying to contribute something mildly worthwhile..

    Another gross generalisation that shows way more arrogance than I have. You don't give people much credit do you?

    If you and 99% of the popoulation have never had your vehicle searched then what the hell are you complaining about?????????????? :? (See start for legislation :wink: )
  20. God help us if the terrorists ever figure out you can buy ceramic knifes, plastic knifes and carbon fiber knifes, Also if the fiends ever start carrying bombs in laptop cases rather than backpacks.

    Luckily they are all so dumb huh :p