An evaluation of the first 12 months of Police Safety Orders (PSOs) has found they are working well and are considered to be an effective additional tool for police attending family violence incidents.
Since July 2010 Police have been able to issue Police Safety Orders (PSOs. The orders are a new option for Police attending family violence incidents where there is insufficient evidence of an offence but action is necessary to ensure the safety of the people at the address.
Police are able to order a person out of the premises, effective immediately, for a period of up to five days. This person is not an offender, but is referred to as the "bound' person.
Acting National Manager Crime, Inspector Paul Berry says the findings of an evaluation carried out after the first year of PSOs are positive.
"As with all new initiatives an evaluation was necessary to see how the new initiative is being used, how well it is working and if anything needs to be done to improve the way we are working and the processes we are using."
A total of 5242 PSOs were issued in the first 12 months of implementation (from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011) an average of 437 per month.
"PSOs have been well received by both police and the community and are generally being issued as intended. They strengthen the range of responses available to police when dealing with family violence."
"The issuing of a PSO creates a breathing space for families allowing Police and other agencies time to see what other support and longer term action can be taken to ensure their protection and well-being," Mr Berry said.
The evaluation has highlighted some opportunities for improvement specifically around training, risk assessment, how we respond to breaches of PSOs, providing of information to parties involved in a PSO and referrals to support services.
"Overall we are pleased with PSOs and the part they are playing to assist us in responding to family violence. As part of our commitment to continuous improvement each of the recommendations will be implemented to ensure that we are making the best possible use of this new tool.
This evaluation is a formative one only. A further outcome evaluation is planned for 2012/13.
The full evaluation report can be found at http://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/resources/evaluation/polic...
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