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Public Order and Security Act
January 22, 2002




1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Realisation of risk or possibility as an element of offences under this Act.
4. Regulating authorities.


1   Short title   TOP

This Act may be cited as the Public Order and Security Act [Chapter 11:17].

2   Interpretation   TOP

In this Act—

"act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism" means any act referred to in subsection (1) of section 6 that is undertaken for a purpose referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of that subsection;

"bomb" means—

(a) any device consisting of or carrying an explosive charge or fused to detonate upon impact or percussion or through a timing contrivance or by an electrical or electronic device; or

(b) any other device capable of causing an explosion;

but excludes ammunition for a firearm;

"essential service" means—

(a) any service relating to the generation, supply or distribution of electricity; or

(b) any fire brigade or fire service; or

(c) any health, hospital or ambulance service; or

(d) any service relating to the production, supply, delivery or distribution of fuel; or

(e) any service relating to the supply or distribution of water; or

(f) any communications service; or

(g) any transport service; or

(h) any other service or occupation whose interruption would endanger the life, health or safety of the whole or a part of the population and which the Minister may declare by statutory instrument to be an essential service;

"insurgent, bandit, saboteur or terrorist" means a person who—

(a) is about to commit, is committing or has committed an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism; or

(b) has attended a course or undergone training, is about to attend a course or undergo training or is attending a course or undergoing training referred to in subsection (1) of section 8;

"law enforcement agency" means the Police Force (including a member of the Police Constabulary as defined in section 2 of the Police Act [Chapter 11:10]) or intelligence service maintained by the Government, or any agency assigned by an enactment to maintain and enforce the law;

"meeting" means a meeting held for the purpose of the discussion of matters of public interest or for the purpose of the expression of views on such matters;

"Minister" means the Minister of Home Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

"offensive material" means any inflammable, dangerous, noxious, or deleterious substance, material or thing capable of killing or injuring persons, including—

(a) low or high explosives and the ingredients thereof;

(b) all types of fuse used in the ignition of explosives;

(c) detonators;

(d) timing devices, especially time pencils;

(e) wire cutters;

(f) acids;

(g) ammunition as defined in the Firearms Act [Chapter 10:09];

(h) biological or chemical warfare agents;

(i) any other substance, material or thing declared by the Minister, by notice in a statutory instrument, to be an offensive material for the purposes of this definition;

"official" means—

(a) a member of any law enforcement agency; or

(b) an ancillary member of the Police Force as defined in section 2 of the Police Act [Chapter 11:10]; or

(c) a member of the Defence Forces; or

(d) a provincial or district administrator or an assistant provincial or district administrator or any other employee of the State acting in that capacity;

"peace officer" has the meaning given to that term in section 2 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07];

"police district" means an area designated by the Commissioner of Police as a police district for the purposes of the administration of the Police Force;

"procession" means a procession in a public place;

"public gathering" means a public meeting or a public demonstration;

"public demonstration" means a procession, gathering or assembly in a public place of persons and additionally, or alternatively, of vehicles, where the gathering is in pursuit of a common purpose of demonstrating support for, or opposition to, any person, matter or thing, whether or not the gathering is spontaneous or is confined to persons who are members of a particular organisation, association or other body or to persons who have been invited to attend;

"public meeting" means any meeting in a public place or meeting which the public or any section of the public is permitted to attend, whether on payment or otherwise;

"public place" means any thoroughfare, building, open space or other place of any description to which the public or any section of the public have access, whether on payment or otherwise and whether or not the right of admission thereto is reserved;

"publication" includes a document, book, magazine, film, sound or visual broadcast, tape, disc or other material, medium or thing whatsoever in which, on which or by means of which a statement may be made;

"regulating authority", in relation to any area, means the police officer who, in terms of section 4, is the regulating authority for that area;

"statement" means any expression of fact or opinion, whether made orally, in writing, electronically or by visual images;

"thoroughfare" means any road, street, lane, path, pavement, sidewalk or similar place which exists for the free passage of persons or vehicles;

"weaponry" means any of the following kinds of offensive material—

(a) artillery of all kinds;

(b) a firearm or other apparatus for the discharge of bullets or other kinds of projectiles which are designed to be lethal, whether solid, explosive or gas diffusing;

(c) a flame-thrower;

(d) high or low explosive, whether or not manufactured as a bomb, grenade or similar missile or device and whether capable of use with a firearm or not, including a fuse, detonator or timing device therefor.

3   Realisation of risk or possibility as an element of offences under this Act   TOP

(1) Where realisation of a risk or possibility is an element of any offence under this Act, the test is whether or not the person whose conduct is in issue realised or must have realised that there was a risk or possibility, other than a remote risk or possibility, that—

(a) his act or omission might give rise to the relevant consequence; or

(b) the relevant fact or circumstance existed when he acted or omitted to act.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt it is declared that the common-law test for constructive or legal intention shall not apply to any offence under this Act of which the realisation of a risk or possibility is an element.

4   Regulating authorities   TOP

The police officer in command of each police district shall be the regulating authority for that police district.

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