Suppose your friend's been murdered. The detective over the case warns you that should you attempt to assist the detective with their investigation or initiate your own investigation, without being requested to do so by the police department, you will only make their investigation more difficult. Nevertheless, you decide to play Sherlock Holmes. As it turns out, your doing so did actually make the police investigation more difficult. Did you just commit a crime?

  • 1
    It would depend to a significant extent on the thing that was done that made the police investigation more difficult, I would think. Destroying evidence might be a crime. Lots of other conduct might not be. I'm not sure that there is an answer to the question in the abstract.
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 7, 2021 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


This is a crime

In the crime is defined in s546C of the Crimes Act 1900:


Any person who resists or hinders or incites any person to assault, resist or hinder a police officer in the execution of his or her duty shall be liable on conviction before the Local Court to imprisonment for 12 months or to a fine of 10 penalty units, or both.

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    I think this is for cases where you do this purposedly. Like preventing by force that a police officer starts an investigation in the victims house. But if you just, by accident, destroy evidence, I don't think this can be called "resisting".
    – PMF
    Dec 7, 2021 at 11:08
  • @PMF “resist” yes but “hinder” is way broader.
    – Dale M
    Dec 7, 2021 at 11:53
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    Yes, it's broader, but I would still not consider it broad enough to include some accident that might happen because of being an amateur. As long as that "Sherlock Holmes" doesn't do some obviously illegal actions, like breaking a police seal to enter a crime scene.
    – PMF
    Dec 7, 2021 at 12:09
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    This question concerns Colorado law, not NSW law.
    – moonman239
    Dec 7, 2021 at 16:54
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    I would think that this statute would be directed at a much more concrete interference than incidentally causing difficultly by independently investigating a crime.
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 7, 2021 at 23:24

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