A Police Safety Order (PSO) is a temporary order issued by the Police when they have reasonable grounds to believe that domestic violence either has or may occur. It is not a criminal charge, and the issuing of a PSO itself will not result in a criminal conviction. 

A PSO can be issued for up to five days, and it also protects any children living with the protected person. Any arrangements for the person bound by the PSO to have day-to-day care or contact with a protected child (including those provided under a Parenting Order) are suspended for the period the PSO is in force.  

The person bound by the PSO must leave the address of the protected person, and:

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

If the person bound by the PSO does anything in contravention of it, they can be charged and appear before the criminal court. The court may release the person, direct the Police to issue another PSO, or issue a Temporary Protection Order under the Domestic Violence Act. The court does not need an application from anyone to issue a Temporary Protection Order in these circumstances, but will only do so if the protected person does not object.

A Temporary Protection Order will last for a period of three months, after which it automatically becomes final unless a defence is filed.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions about Police Safety Orders or Protection Orders. 


Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.