Police Safety Orders under the Domestic Violence Amendment Act 2009

From 1 July 2010 a Police Constable may issue a Police Safety Order (“PSO”) in circumstances where the Police Constable has reasonable grounds to believe that it is possible that person (“the Offender”) is likely to use domestic violence against any other person with whom the Offender is in a domestic relationship (“a Person at risk”).

A PSO can be ordered for up to five days and imposes conditions similar to a Protection Order requiring the Offender to vacate any land or building of a Person at risk and to surrender any weapons. A PSO suspends any existing Parenting Orders and contact arrangements. The Police do not need the consent of the Person at risk to issue a PSO.

The Offender must be served and may be detained for up to two hours by the Police for the purposes of service. If the Offender fails to comply with a PSO they may be taken into custody or a warrant may be executed for their arrest. An person who is arrested for failing to comply with a PSO should be brought before a District Court within 24 hours. If the Offender is not brought before the Court within 24 hours they must be released and summoned to appear at a later date.

If the Court is satisfied that the Offender has failed to comply with a PSO they may either extend the PSO for a further period not exceeding the five day limit or make a temporary Protection Order under section 14 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

The Offender bound by a PSO must:

· Leave the address while the PSO is enforced;

· Not assault, threaten, intimidate or harass the Person at risk (or their children) or encourage anyone else to;

· Not follow, stop or contact in any way the Persona at risk (or their children) in any place at home, at work or anywhere else the protected person visits often;

· Must surrender all firearms to the Police for the period of the PSO.

The implementation of PSOs allow the Police to take action to protect a person despite not being able to charge someone with an offence. Early statistics show that around 80 PSOs were issued in the first 10 days of the orders being available to Police. These statistics offer hope to those that are victims of domestic violence.

If you require any further information about Police Safety Orders please do not hesitate to contact us.