A new Victorian offence criminalising grossly offensive public conduct is unlikely to be used by police but will close a gap in the system, the state’s attorney-general says.
The proposed law, to be introduced to parliament on Wednesday, was developed in response to Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway crash in April 2020 which claimed the lives of four police officers.
Porsche driver Richard Pusey pleaded guilty of charges including outraging public decency by filming the dying officers after the crash.
The charge of outraging public decency will be abolished and replaced with the new offence of engaging in conduct that is grossly offensive to community standards of behaviour.
The maximum penalty will be five years’ imprisonment.
The offence will apply to conduct happening in a place where people can see or hear it publicly and will require the accused, or any reasonable person, to know their conduct is grossly offensive.
Conduct such as being intoxicated or using indecent or profane language will be excluded from the offence.
Stuart Schulze, whose wife Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor died in the crash, has been campaigning for the new offence.
Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Joshua Prestney and Constable Glen Humphris were also killed on April 23, 2020.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the coalition would also back the law,