Activist Rights

Designated Areas

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“Designated areas” are places where:

  • police have extra powers, and
  • where PSO’s are allowed to use their powers.

Police and PSOs also have additional powers inside a designated area to:

  • search people,
  • order people to remove face coverings (this is questionable since the COVID-19 pandemic), and
  • order people to leave the area.

Some places are always designated areas. These include:

  • Train stations, bus stops, and tram stops
  • Car-parks, taxi ranks, and bus stops near train stations
  • Areas around train stations
  • Roads and footpaths that access train stations

(PSOs also work at other places like Parliament House and the courts.)

Other places can be made a “designated area” for a limited period of time. 

Under the Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic) (“CW Act”), the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police may declare an area to be a “designated area” at short notice. 

The Chief Commissioner may declare an area to be a “designated area” if:

  • there has been more than one act of violence or disorder with a weapon in the past 12 months and there is a likelihood that there will be violence or disorder with a weapon again; or
  • there has been violence or disorder with a weapon at a previous event or celebration, this event is happening again and there is a likelihood that there will be violence or disorder with a weapon at this event again

The declaration should be published on the Victoria Police website and in the Victorian Government Gazette.

Some examples of these types of “designated areas” include:

  • the CBD over New Years Eve;
  • the first and last days of the St Kilda Festival;
  • parts of the CBD over Friday and Saturday nights;
  • areas around sporting events where there has been weapons violence a past events;
  • protests where there has been weapons violence at similar past events.

Some of the information on this page has been adapted from the Victoria Police website on “designated areas“.

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