Criminal Offences

Public Mischief

To put it simply, Public Mischief is a summary offence under section 547B of Crimes Act 1900, when a person passes incorrect/false information to the police about any event that has or will occur, and involves a criminal investigation. It is also considered an offence if the person passes the false information to someone other than the police, who ultimately delivers that information to the police. However, Public Mischief is not limited to the offence of “making a false statement”. Using unlawful violence or threatening to harm a member of the public, use of offensive language or indulging in offensive conduct, etc., are some of the other offences that are classified as Public Mischief.  A few of these specific offences are listed below:

  • Making a false statement
  • Public disorder or move on direction
  • Affray
  • Offensive language and/or Offensive Conduct

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Making a False Statement

In the matters involving criminal investigations, it is not unusual for the police to rely on the information given by the members of the public. While this can prove immensely helpful to the police in urgent situations, there are times when the information they receive is actually false.

Public Disorder or Move on Direction

Public Disorder is more of an umbrella term that takes into account charges that normally concern cases of public disturbances and disorder.


Considered a more serious charge than Common Assault, Affray is an offence whereby the accused indulges in an unlawful violent behaviour that causes the members of the public to fear for their safety.

Offensive Language

As the name suggests, offensive language can be regarded as disorderly, violent, threatening, indecent, and of course, offensive. Sure, in today’s era, swearing, or being offensive in any capacity is regarded a common thing, but that doesn’t negate the fact that using offensive language, in some particular ways, is still considered breaking the law.