The police can issue a safety order when they think someone is at risk of family violence. The police don’t need the consent of the person at risk and the order can’t be appealed.
A safety order is usually for 24-48 hours, but can be in force for up to 10 days. During that time, the person named in the order must:
- not abuse, threaten, intimidate or harass the person protected by the order — or encourage anyone else to
- not follow, stop or make any contact with the protected person at all
- surrender any guns and their firearms licence to the police.
If both people live at the same address, the person named in the order has to leave while the order is in force — even if they own the house.
Any children living with the protected person are also protected — the person named in the order isn’t allowed to contact or visit them, even if they usually have a custody arrangement.
The police can detain someone for up to 2 hours to issue them with an order.
If the order is breached
The police can take the person named in the order into custody and put them before the court.
The court can:
- tell the police to issue another safety order
- issue a temporary protection order, as long as the person at risk doesn’t object.