One of Australia's seemingly unfair laws relates to being penalised for offering a reward for stolen goods with a 'No Questions Asked' statement. But is it actually true?
Yep — this is actually an offence in South Australia and Tasmania. In these jurisdictions, if a person publicly advertises a reward for the return of property that’s been stolen or lost — and the ad indicates no questions will be asked upon the return of that property — that person can be found guilty of an offence and slapped with a hefty fine.
In other words, just because you’re grateful for the return of lost property doesn’t mean you have the authority to let a potential thief off the hook.
In Tasmania, if you print or publish one of those....
...."just bring back my (insert stolen item here) and there will be no questions asked",
or you offer a reward for the return of your stolen item, no question asked, you can be hit with a fine of up to five penalty units ($785). So, not only will you be without your property, you could be a few hundred bucks down the hole as well.
A similar law exists in South Australia. Section 48A of the Summary Offences Act 1953 makes it an offence in that state to advertise a reward asking for stolen or lost property to be returned where the ad indicates that there will be no questions asked, the person returning the goods will not be arrested or investigated, or that money paid for its purchase or by loan will be repaid. Under the act a fine of $500 can be levied.
Also, any person who prints or publishes an advertisement can also be guilty of the crime.
So, if'n you've had something stolen and want it back real bad it's up to you to decide if the value of the item is worth it's value PLUS the fine. Just don't put 'no questions asked' or 'no prosecution' or 'you won't be dobbed in' statements on the ad or poster.
The following is an example of how NOT to do it!
Hardly seems fair, does it?