CRIMINAL CODE PROVISIONS
10. Hon COLIN TINCKNELL to the minister representing the
Minister for Police:
refer to questions without notice 804 and 827 of Tuesday, 13 August and
Wednesday, 14 August 2019 respectively. Sections 34(3)(4) and (5) of the
Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 refer only to the issue of children being present when
in conjunction with the conviction of a greater crime such as drug trafficking
or manufacturing. There is no mention of penalties for those who simply use
drugs around children. It appears not to be a standalone offence.
(1) Is it illegal
to use drugs around children; and, if so, under which law, and when was the
last time a person was charged and convicted under this law?
(2) What is the procedure police follow when
confronted with children found to be in the homes of drug users—not
just drug manufacturers, as outlined in section 34 of the Misuse of Drugs Act
1981, but drug users?
procedures do police follow if they suspect or are confronted with evidence
that a minor has been contaminated by the illicit drug use of an adult via
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question. The following information has been provided to me
by the Minister for Police.
(1) I am unable to provide an answer to the question
under section 105 of the standing orders, as the honourable member is
seeking a legal interpretation or opinion.
Western Australia Police Force advises that if police are confronted with a child
in need of immediate care and attention,
they are empowered under section 37 of the Children and Community Services Act
2004 to take the child into provisional protection and care. Police do
not require a warrant to exercise these powers.
Police would then enlist the support of crisis care to commence protection
proceedings and provide necessary care for the child.
Section 41 of the Children and
Community Services Act 2004 enables a police officer to move a child to a safe
place if the officer finds the child at a place other than the child's
usual place of residence and the officer believes on reasonable grounds that
the child is not under the immediate supervision of a parent of the child or an
adult capable of adequately supervising the child and that there is a risk to
the wellbeing of the child because of the nature of the place where the child
was found, the behaviour or the vulnerability of the child at that place, or
any other circumstance.