30 Nov 2010

Concern at implications of spot protection orders

5:51 am on 30 November 2010

An Auckland lawyer is concerned new on-the-spot protection orders give police too much power and impinge on people's rights.

The orders, which came into force in July this year are, in effect, temporary protection orders, but are issued by police officers rather than judges.

Unlike protection orders, police safety orders are issued without an application from a victim of domestic violence, or any independent evidence.

Lawyer John Cox says it is inappropriate for police to be issuing court orders.

But groups that support victims of domestic violence say the orders allow a cooling-off period.

They say it appears that police are exercising caution when issuing the orders.

Police Association vice-president Chris Cahill says the orders are temporary, lasting a maximum of five days, and are a good safety net to protect a victim of violence.