Police Safety Orders

A Police Safety Order (PSO) is issued when the Police have reasonable grounds to believe that family violence has occurred or may occur.

An Order lasts for up to five days, but usually one or two days.

The purpose of the PSO is to protect people at risk from violence, harassment or intimidation. The PSO stays in force until the expiry time/date listed on the Order.

Police do not need the consent of the person at risk to issue the order.

The effect of a Police Safety Order

When a PSO is made the person bound by it must leave the address while the PSO is in force, even if they own the address and/or normally live there.

The bound person:

  • must not assault, threaten, intimidate or harass the protected person (the person at risk) or encourage anyone else to do the same.
  • must not follow, stop or contact in any way the person at risk in any place, either at home, at work or anywhere else the person at risk visits often.
  • must surrender all firearms and their firearms licence to the police for the period of the PSO.

The PSO also protects any children living with the person at risk. Any conditions of parenting orders or agreements permitting access or care by the bound person are suspended.

The Police may detain the bound person for up to two hours to issue and serve the PSO. There is no right of appeal.

What happens if a Police Safety Order is breached

If the bound person does anything that is not permitted by the PSO, Police can take the person into custody and put them before the Court.

The Court may issue a warrant to arrest the bound person if it is needed to bring them before the Court.

The Court may:

  • release the bound person without any further order
  • direct Police to issue another PSO
  • issue a Temporary Protection Order (if the person at risk does not object).

The Court does not need an application from anyone to issue a Temporary Protection Order.

No criminal convictions result from the issue of a Police Safety Order.

Other offences, such as assaults or property damage, will be investigated and charges laid where sufficient evidence exists.

Getting help

There are several agencies you can phone for help:

  • Shine 0508 744 633
  • Are You Ok Information Line 0800 456 450
  • Women's Refuge 0800 REFUGE

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