Unlawfully Entering Inclosed Lands Offences, Penalties and Defences in New South Wales

Image credit: Max Blain

Poppy Morandin.

 

With many prevented from seeing their favourite sports stars play in the biggest games of the 2021 AFL and NRL seasons due to lockdowns, tickets for the games were highly sought after.

However, a pair of friends from Perth managed to escape having to pay $450 for a ticket, after managing to bypass security and sneak in.

The pair documented the stunt in a two-part YouTube video, in which they detailed their plan to disguise themselves as tradies.

Whilst upon getting to the ground they attempted to do “the old fashioned, hop over the fence”, the pair decided this was too risky and decided to stick to their original plan.

The pair wore high-vis work shirts that they bought from Big W and carried a trolley towards the gate.

“There’s like 50 gates, and nobody’s watching,” one of the pranksters said.

“We’re getting in old school, no tricks, no fancy stuff, we’re just gonna walk in.

“Only problem is there are cops all near the gate … let’s do it.”

The pair asked a security guard to open a gate and managed to sneak into an elevator and get into the stadium.

“We’re walking straight in with confidence like we bloody work there,” explained one of the pranksters.

They proceeded to ditch their costumes and the trolley, before getting changed back into their regular clothing.

Footage shows the pair enjoying a beer at the game and watching the game live.

The video has since had over 85,000 views.

Acting WA Police Commissioner, Col Blanch has since commented that whilst an offence may have been committed, the pranksters are unlikely to face criminal charges.

“That’s not something I believe we’re going to progress from a criminal perspective…We can’t endorse it, but it’s not something we want to be putting through our court system.” he explained.

Blanch also stated that since the video, Optus Stadium will be improving their security.

Stunts in which persons aim to sneak into big or high security events in high vis have become popularised over the years, often called the ‘yellow vest experiment’.

Unlawfully Entering Inclosed Lands Offences, Penalties and Defences in New South Wales

In NSW, it is an offence to enter inclosed lands without permission, pursuant to section 4 of the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901 (NSW).

This offence is more commonly known as ‘trespassing’.

This is punishable by a fine of up to $550, or $1,100 in the case of a prescribed premises. This penalty applies if dealt with by a NSW Court. This offence can be dealt with by way of an on-the-spot fine or penalty notice issued by police. The penalty notice fine is otherwise $350. If it’s a prescribed premises, the penalty notice fine is $550. Payment of the fine will not result in a conviction, nor a requirement to attend court.

‘Inclosed lands’ has a very broad definition under the Act, meaning any land, either public or private, inclosed or surrounded by any fence, wall, or similar structure by which its boundaries may be known or recognised.

A prescribed premises means land occupied or used in connection with a school, a child-care service, a hospital, nursing home, or any structure or building erected on that land.

Section 4AA imposes a penalty of a $1,100 fine for those who, without reasonable excuse, knowingly enter an event venue during an organised event in contravention of a re-entry prohibition that has been given to the person.

A re-entry prohibition under the Act includes a direction given by a responsible authority that directs the person, orally or in writing, to not to re-enter the event venue during the organised event.

An ‘event venue’ is define as part of inclosed lands used for an organised event to which right of entry is conferred by a ticket, membership, or similar arrangement.

In the above sections, the onus is on the person charged with the offence to prove that they had a reasonable excuse to be on the land or in the event venue which can amount to an available defence to an offence of unlawfully entering inclosed lands.

Click here for information on section 10 non-conviction dismissals.

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