Protective Service Officers (PSOs)

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There are more than 1,500[1] PSOs patrolling designated areas, courts and some government buildings. 

When on duty and at these locations, PSO’s can

  • issue fines for offences such as ticket offences, offensive behaviour in public (section 60AA(1A) Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic)) or graffiti offences (section 11(1A & B) Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 (Vic);
  • arrest you if they believe you have broken, or are about to break, the law (section 459 Crimes Act 1958 (Vic));
  • ask for your name and address if they believe you have, or are about to, commit an indictable offence; (section 456AA(1) Crimes Act 1958 (Vic));
  • arrest you if they believe you have a mental illness and have recently tried to hurt yourself or somebody else (section 351(1) Mental Health Act 2014 Vic));
  • search you, your belongings, or your vehicle if they believe you have a weapon (sections 10AA(2), 10GA(1) and 10H(1)) Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic)) or have graffiti tools (section 13(1) Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 (Vic));
  • Seize suspected weapons (section 10J(1A) Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic))
  • order you to move on if they believe you are breaching the peace, endangering others or are going to damage property; (section 6(1) Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic)) and
  • use reasonable force to prevent to commission of an indictable offence (section 462A Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)).

If you are arrested by a PSO, they must hand you into the custody of a police officer as soon as practicable (section 459(2) Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)).

But, they do have the power to request your name and address and issue a fine if they believe you have broken a public transport offence (for if example they saw you enter the train station without touching on) and it would be an offence to refuse or to give false details.


Powers are expected to be expanded in the near future to include:

  • An area surrounding a sporting venue;
  • A venue of public entertainment;
  • A place of mass gathering; or
  • Any large area in Victoria.

See: Designated areas for more information about where PSOs can use their powers

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Protective Service Officers (PSOs)

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