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Declared public precinct offences

Under section 66N of the Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA), the Attorney-General may declare a defined area of one or more public spaces to be a declared public precinct for a period specified in the declaration. An area may not be a declared public precinct for more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period unless the Attorney-General is satisfied that special circumstances exist to warrant it.

Declaration is made by notice in the Gazette and any notice of declaration must be published on a website accessible by the public free of charge.

The first public precinct is an area on the West End of Adelaide CBD. Police generally notify the public about declared public precincts on their website at

Police officers have the power to carry out metal detector and general drug detection searches in declared public precincts [ss 66R, 66S].

Remaining or re-entering after order to leave [s 66O]

It is an offence to remain in a declared public precinct after having been ordered to leave by a police officer, or to re-enter the precinct during the declared public precinct period.

Maximum penalty: $1 250.

Police may use reasonable force to remove a person from a declared public precinct if they fail to leave or re-enter.

Offensive or disorderly conduct [s 66P]

It is an offence to behave in an offensive or disorderly manner within a declared public precinct. Offensive or disorderly conduct under this section does not include behaviour involving violence or a threat of violence.

Maximum penalty: $1 250 [expiation fee: $250].

Offensive weapons and dangerous articles [s 66Q]

It is an offence to carry an offensive weapon or dangerous article within a declared public precinct.

Maximum penalty: $10 000 or 2 years imprisonment.

Failure to comply with barring order [s 66T]

If a person within a declared public precinct commits an offence that may pose a risk to public order or safety, or behaves in an offensive or disorderly manner, a police officer may bar the person from entering or remaining in the precinct for a period of time.

It is an offence for a person to enter or remain in a declared public precinct from which he or she has been barred.

Maximum penalty: $2 500.

Hindering police [s 66U]

It is an offence to hinde ror obstruct a police officer exercising their powers under sections 66R [Power to conduct metal detector searches] or 66S [Power to carry out general drug detection].

Maximum penalty: $2 500 or 6 months imprisonment.

Police powers within public precincts

Within declared public precincts police have the power to:

  • request that people posing a risk to others leave the precinct;
  • search people by metal detector to detect offensive weapons;
  • carry out general drug detection;
  • serve a person posing a risk to others or behaving in a offensive or disorderly manner with an order barring them from entering or remaining in the precinct; and
  • remove minors from the precinct if they are in danger or are behaving in an offensive or disorderly manner.

Failure to comply with police requirements and directions in relation to these powers is an offence.

Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) Part 14B

Declared public precinct offences  :  Last Revised: Fri Dec 1st 2017
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