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Geocaching resources

Geocaching and the police

nswpolice 300x200From time to time, geocachers ask how they should conduct themselves with Police and security personnel. Additionally, Police would like geocachers to understand how they can minimise unnecessary, and often costly, Police involvement.

This article results from discussions with NSW Police, including some involved in "suspicious package" callouts.

Firstly, it is important to remember that police must attend to concerned calls from the public, particularly in this era of heightened alertness. You can reduce the chances of having to explain yourself by considering these guidelines.

  • Be honest and ready to explain what you are doing. Geocaching is a perfectly legal pasttime. Many police and security officers are familiar with it and some are players themselves. There are even stories of them helping to find a tricky cache once they've understood the situation.
  • Carry recognised identification (drivers licence etc.) in case you are engaged by police. Ready evidence of your particulars will help to allay suspicions.
  • Avoid placing geocaches in places where there is a high chance of raising concerns about real or perceived public safety risks.
  • Consider what the general public will think if they find your container inadvertently. In a busy urban environment, a large, technical or military-looking container is not a great idea, whereas the much-maligned nano or mint tin would be in its element.
  • Very importantly, label any geocache you place with words and symbols that identify it as a geocache. This will assist Police, who have access to the geocache listings.
  • If you find a geocache that could reasonably pose a risk to public safety, raise it with the geocache owner and/or the geocache listing website.
  • Do not enter private property without the consent of the occupier and/or owner.
  • Observe any opening and closing times of parks and other properties.
  • If you plan on hosting a large event that is expected to draw in a large number of geocachers, contact the Local Area Command (Police Station) that looks after the area in the week prior to notify them, and follow up with a call the day before.

Don't forget to read through the Geocaching NSW Code of Conduct.