Northern Territory Consolidated Acts

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TERRITORY PARKS AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ACT - SECT 96

Search of premises and persons

    (1)     In this section:

"enter" includes to board.

"premises" includes vacant land and vehicles.

"residential premises" means premises used exclusively or primarily for residential purposes and includes a private room in a motel, hotel or guesthouse while the room is occupied but does not include a private room in a motel, hotel or guesthouse if the room is unoccupied or any other part of a motel, hotel or guesthouse.

"vehicle" includes an aircraft and a vessel.

    (2)     For the purposes of this section, a vehicle, substance or thing is connected with an offence if:

        (a)     the offence has been committed with respect to the vehicle, substance or thing;

        (b)     the vehicle, substance or thing will afford evidence of the commission of the offence; or

        (c)     the vehicle, substance or thing was used, is being used or is intended to be used for the purpose of committing the offence.

    (3)     For the purposes of the administration or enforcement of this Act, a conservation officer may:

        (a)     enter:

            (i)     premises other than residential premises at any time of the day or night; or

            (ii)     any premises with the consent of the occupier or a person apparently in charge of the premises; and

        (b)     enter premises under paragraph (a)(i) or (ii) with the assistance, and using the force, that is necessary and reasonable.

    (4)     For the purpose of entering a vehicle under subsection (3), a conservation officer may require a person to stop or move the vehicle or to bring the vehicle to a place and remain in control of the vehicle until the conservation officer permits the vehicle to depart.

    (5)     A conservation officer who enters premises under subsection (3) may do any of the following:

        (a)     inspect or examine the premises or a substance or thing found in or on the premises;

        (b)     break open and search furniture and fixtures, or boxes, packages and other containers, found in or on the premises;

        (c)     take measurements of, or conduct tests in relation to, the premises or a substance or thing found in or on the premises;

        (d)     take photographs, films or audio, video or other recordings of the premises or a substance or thing found in or on the premises;

        (e)     take and remove from the premises samples for analysis of a substance or thing found in or on the premises;

        (f)     if the premises entered are a vehicle – subject to subsection (9), seize the vehicle;

        (g)     subject to subsection (9), seize a substance or thing found in or on the premises, including a vehicle;

        (h)     in the case of a document found in or on the premisestake copies of or extracts from the document;

        (j)     require a person in or on the premises to:

            (i)     answer questions or provide information;

            (ii)     make available documents kept on the premises; or

            (iii)     provide reasonable assistance to the conservation officer in relation to the exercise of his or her powers under this section.

    (6)     A conservation officer:

        (a)     may require a person to stop, to state his or her name and address and to answer the questions put to the person by the officer; and

        (b)     if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that the person:

            (i)     has committed, is committing or is about to commit an offence against this Act; or

            (ii)     is in possession of a substance or thing connected with an offence,

    may require the person to accompany the officer to a place, at that place search the person and any bag or other container in the person's possession and, subject to subsection (9), seize a substance or thing found on the person or in the person's possession.

    (7)     A search of a person under subsection (6) is to be conducted by:

        (a)     if the person is female – a female conservation officer; or

        (b)     if the person is male – a male conservation officer.

    (8)     After taking a sample under subsection (5)(e) or seizing a vehicle, substance or thing under subsection (5)(f) or (g) or (6)(b), a conservation officer must give a receipt for the sample, vehicle, substance or thing to:

        (a)     in the case of a sample taken under subsection (5)(e) or a vehicle, substance or thing seized under subsection (5)(f) or (g):

            (i)     the occupier or a person apparently in charge of the premises; or

            (ii)     the person who the conservation officer reasonably believes was in possession of the sample, vehicle, substance or thing immediately before it was taken or seized; or

        (b)     in the case of a substance or thing seized under subsection (6)(b) – the person searched.

    (9)     A conservation officer may seize a vehicle, substance or thing under subsection (5)(f) or (g) or subsection (6)(b) if he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that:

        (a)     the vehicle, substance or thing is connected with an offence against this Act; and

        (b)     the seizure is necessary to prevent the vehicle, substance or thing from being:

            (i)     concealed, lost, damaged or destroyed; or

            (ii)     used to commit the offence.

    (10)     A conservation officer is not entitled:

        (a)     to remain on premises entered by the conservation officer under subsection (5) if, on request by the occupier or a person apparently in charge of the premises, the conservation officer does not produce his or her identity card; or

        (b)     to continue to do anything authorised under subsection (6) in respect of a person if, on request by the person, the conservation officer does not produce his or her identity card.



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