Principals should be aware of the following offences under the Summary Offences Act 1988 (the Act) that relate to offensive behaviour in public places, particularly when the behaviour is in or near schools. These offences are in addition to the offence of behaving in an offensive manner referred to in legal issues bulletin 58 - Unauthorised entry onto departmental premises - update.
- Behaving in an offensive manner in, near or within view or hearing of a school or a public place. The maximum penalty is $660 or three months imprisonment. The use of offensive language is not of itself considered to be an offensive manner.
- Using offensive language in, near or within hearing of a school or a public place. The maximum penalty is $660. The court also has the power to impose a community service work order up to a maximum of 100 hours instead of a fine.
- Wilful and obscene exposure in or within view of a school or a public place. The maximum penalty is $1100 or six months imprisonment.
- Have custody of an offensive implement in a school or a public place. The maximum penalty is $5,500 or two years imprisonment. For the purposes of the offence, "offensive implement" means anything made or adapted for use to cause injury to a person or anything intended by the person having custody of the thing to be used to injure or menace a person or damage property.
- Loitering in or a near a school or public place regularly frequented by children in circumstances where children are present at the time of the loitering and the person loitering is a convicted child sexual offender. “Convicted child sexual offender” includes any offence involving sexual activity or acts of indecency committed in NSW against a child that is punishable by imprisonment for 12 months or more. The maximum penalty is $11,000 or 2 years imprisonment or both.
- Soliciting persons for prostitution in a public street near or within view of a school or in a school. The maximum penalty for each offence is $660 or three months imprisonment.
- Prospective clients soliciting prostitutes in a public street near or within view of a school, or in school. The maximum penalty for each offence is $660 or three months imprisonment.
- Taking part in an act of prostitution in or within view from a school, including if the offending act occurs within a vehicle. The maximum penalty is $1100 or six months imprisonment.