Police are continuing to make improvements to the implementation and administration of Police Safety Orders (PSOs) says Family Violence Manager, Inspector Fleur De Bes of the National Prevention Centre.
"New Zealand Police are always striving to improve our victim-focus and ongoing work programme to address family violence," says Inspector De Bes.
"PSOs are a valuable tool to help Police protect family violence victims, and we are focused on delivering staff training and consistency of approach, and improving the quality of investigations and file preparation."
PSOs enable frontline officers to take immediate action to protect victims where there is insufficient evidence of arrest, by requiring the Bound Person to leave the residence and not return or contact the Person at Risk for a period up to a maximum of five days.
During this 'cooling-down period' the victim, or the person subject to the order, can access support services and receive assistance.
"From June, 'train the trainer' sessions will be rolled out across the country for all frontline Sergeants and Field Training Officers to support frontline staff to further improve the way Police use PSOs to reduce family violence," says Inspector De Bes.
"Police will increase the support for the Person at Risk (and the Bound Person) by ensuring a timely referral to a support agency wherever possible.
"To support the detection of breaches of PSOs, District Command Centres will task officers to do follow up visits for all persons at risk while the PSO is in place, while a quality assurance form is being developed for all Protection Order and PSO files to give increased consistency in reporting."
These improvements were informed by an evaluation of the period following the introduction of PSOs on 1 July 2010 until 31 December 2012.
The evaluation report is available here: http://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/outcome-evaluation-police-safety-orders
"The findings provide a generally positive picture of PSOs in the initial phase of the implementation, especially in providing immediate safety to the Person at Risk. The report also reflects that this was a new initiative, and it has been valuable in contributing to our ongoing programme to provide the best possible service for victims by highlighting areas which need some work, and this is already being addressed".
"We will continue to work closely with victims and stakeholders to ensure that PSOs are working in the way they were intended."
Note to media: Inspector Fleur De Bes is available to speak with media today between 10.30am and 12pm only.
04 474 9442