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Enforcement power to search and seize

Information about police power to search a person or property and seize firearms or weapons.

Police have powers to search and seize under the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010. This aims to give police enough power to protect someone who is experiencing prohibited behaviour, even though this behaviour may not be recognised as criminal.

These powers are in addition to powers at common law, the Crimes Act 1958 or Control of Weapons Act 1990.

The police have power to search any premises without a warrant when they have reasonable belief that a person is present who is in breach of an intervention order.

The police have power to direct a person who is subject to an intervention order, or against whom grounds exist for the issue of one, to surrender any firearm, weapon or ammunition in their possession.

Where an intervention order is in place against a person, or grounds exist to justify an intervention order and the Police believe that person possesses a firearm, ammunition or a weapon, then the police have power to search without a warrant:

  • the person’s home
  • the vehicle, and
  • the premises where that person committed prohibited behaviour.

If a person fails to comply with a police direction to surrender a firearm, weapon or ammunition, or the police find one of these items when searching premises or vehicles, then the police have power to seize them.

This search power does not give police a general power to search for evidence of an offence.

More information

Legislation

Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic)

  • Part 5—enforcement powers
  • s. 114—entry and search of premises
  • s. 115—surrender of firearms or weapons
  • s. 116—power of police officer to search premises for firearms without warrant
  • s. 117—warrants to search premises and vehicles
  • s. 120—seizure of firearms

See Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic).

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

  • s. 459—power of police to apprehend an offender
  • s. 459A—entry and search of premises

See Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).

Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic)

  • s. 3—definitions
  • s. 10—search without warrant
  • s. 11—warrant to search

See Control of Weapons Act 1990 (Vic).

Updated