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Police Safety Orders

October 18, 2010

On 1 July, new laws came into effect which allow Police to now issue on-the-spot Police Safety Orders (“PSO”).  In the first month after the new Police powers came into effect, 290 PSOs were issued. I thought it was probably a good idea to run through the basics of PSOs.

A PSO can be immediately issued in situations where the Police reasonably believe family violence has occurred or may occur.

The purpose of the Police Safety Order is to protect people from the risk of violence, intimidation or harassment.

How long does the PSO last for?

The Order can be in force for up to 5 days. It will have a date recorded on it for when it lapses.

What does this mean if I am a victim of family violence?

For victims of family violence, the new powers that the Police have to issue PSOs mean that you can obtain immediate protection if you call the Police for assistance, rather than having to wait to get a protection order from the Court.

The Police do not need your consent to issue a PSO.

It is important you immediately contact the Police if the PSO is breached by the person it is made against.

What happens if the Police make a PSO against me?

The Police do not need your consent to issue a PSO against you. You can be detained by the Police for up to two hours in order for the order to be issued to you.

The PSO does not result in a criminal conviction against you unless you breach it.

What does the PSO do?

If an order is issued to you, you:

  • Must immediately leave the property where the order is issued even if you own it or normally live there;
  • Must not assault, threaten, intimidate or harass the person protected by the order. You also mustn’t encourage anyone else to do this;
  • Must not follow, stop or contact in any way the person protected by the order;
  • If you have firearms, you must immediately surrender all of these and your firearms license to the Police until the order lapses.

You can be taken into custody by the Police if you breach the PSO.

What if we have children together?

The PSO also protects any children living with the person protected by the order.

If there are Parenting Orders or Agreements in place that allow those children to be in the care of the person the PSO is made against, then those orders or agreements are suspended while the PSO is in place.

Can I appeal if an order is made?

No. There is no right of appeal.

Should I see a lawyer if a PSO is made to protect me?

Yes. The PSO will lapse and when it does, you will no longer have the protection of it. Therefore, it is important you  see a specialist family lawyer to get advice about your options for longer term protection for you and any children you may have.

Should I see a lawyer if a PSO is made against me?

Yes. You may face further Court proceedings once the PSO lapses so it is important you get immediate specialist advice about your legal position. If you have children with the person the PSO was made to protect, then you may have issues  to resolve about how to be able to see those children.

If you want  help with a family law issue, go to

  1. Great work keep it coming

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