New ADVO Laws Give Victims Swift Protection

Senior police are now able to issue provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) to provide immediate protection for victims, Attorney General Brad Hazzard and Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres announced today.

 “Provisional ADVOs are issued in situations where a person urgently needs protection from domestic violence,” Mr Hazzard said.

 “Police officers of the rank of sergeant or above can now issue the provisional orders and in most cases will no longer have to go through the process of applying to a court registrar or authorised justice.                                                                                                              

“Most ADVOs are sought outside of business hours but victims can be assured that the process of obtaining emergency protection will be swift – regardless of what time the domestic incident occurs.”

 The changes to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007, coming into force today, also enable police officers to detain or remove a defendant from the scene to secure the victim’s safety.

 “Officers will be able to direct the defendant to accompany them to the police station while the provisional ADVO is being sought and served and can arrest any defendant who refuses to comply with directions,” Mr Ayres said.

 “This will reduce the risk of defendants fleeing before the order is served and will enable victims to safely remain in their home – rather than having to seek emergency shelter.”

 Defendants removed from the scene will be entitled to make a phone call and can be detained for no longer than two hours, excluding reasonable travel time to the police station or other location.

 After a provisional ADVO is issued, the case will go before a Local Court on the next domestic violence list day (which must be within 28 days). Defendants can make an application to the court to challenge or vary a police-issued ADVO. Interim and final ADVOs will still only be issued by a court.

 The new provisional ADVO reforms are part of the NSW Government’s Domestic Violence Justice Strategy. The strategy, which has been operating for 16 months, sets approaches and standards for justice agencies to improve responses to domestic violence.