Peeping / Prying
In NSW it is an offence to be in a building, or near a building, with the intention of looking, peeping or prying upon another person. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 penalty units and/or 3 months imprisonment.
The Offence of Peep or Pry
The offence of Peep or Pry is contained in section 547C of the Crimes Act 1900 and states:
Any person who is in, on or near a building without reasonable cause with intent to peep or pry upon another person shall be liable on conviction before the Local Court to imprisonment for 3 months, or to a fine of 2 penalty units.
What Actions Might Constitute the Offence of Peep or Pry?
Examples of Peep or Pry include:
- Looking through the window of your neighbours house to watch them while they are getting changed;
- Loitering around an office building with the intention of looking through windows and doors to see the people inside; and
- Peering over an adjoining wall in a townhouse to watch your neighbours.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict you of Peep or Pry the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you were in or near a building;
- That you did, or had the intention to, peep or pry upon another person;
- That you had no lawful excuse for doing so.
The common ways to defend this charge are:
- To argue that you were not in or near a building;
- To argue that you had a reasonable excuse for being in or near a building;
- To argue that you did not intend to peep or pry upon another person.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
The charge is a summary offence which means that the matter must be finalised in the Local Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.