A Police Safety Order (PSO) is often the first option for legal protection under the FV Act.
Some family violence situations can be resolved by Police intervention, especially in the short term, by a PSO. As the name suggests PSOs are issued by the Police. The goal is stop or prevent further family violence and keep the whānau safe.
A PSO can be issued when a Police officer believes a person has been violent or is likely to be violent to another whanau member. If there are tamariki involved the Police officer will also consider their welfare and safety.
A PSO can be issued on the spot and can stay in place for up to 10 days. The District Court is not involved unless the PSO is breached, or the violent person is charged with an offence.
If the Police issue a PSO there are a number of consequences. The person who the order is issued against:
A person breaching the PSO can be taken into custody and must appear in the District Court within 24 hours. The person may be seen by a community magistrate or a judge.
When the person appears another PSO can be made.
If the person appears before a community magistrate then the breach can be referred to a District Court Judge to consider whether a Temporary Protection Order should be made.