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Protective services officers power to ask

Information about when a protective services officer (PSO) can ask a person for their name and address.

General power to ask

From 1 April 2018 Protective services officers (PSOs), who are on duty in (or in the vicinity of) a designated place, have been given a general power to require a person to give their name and address if they:

  • suspect a person has committed or is about to commit an offence (whether summary or indictable), or
  • if they suspect a person has witnessed an indictable offence.

The PSO has to give the person grounds for their belief. If the person refuses to comply with the request or gives a false name and address they are guilty of an offence.

The PSO, if asked, must state their name, rank and place of duty. If they do not do this, they are guilty of an offence.

The maximum penalty for failing to state name and address or name, rank and place of duty (PSO) is 5 penalty units.

See s. 456AA—Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).

Before 1 April 2018 PSOs could only ask a person for their name and in particular circumstances.

From 6 September 2022 PSO's can require a person to provide their name address if the person is at or near a police station, and the PSO does not think that the person has a legitimate reason for being there.

Limits on PSO powers

The power to ask for a person's name and address can only be used when the PSO is on duty and in a designated place or in the vicinity of a designated place.

Belief that person under 18 is drinking

They can do this in a designated place if they have a reason to believe that the person is under 18 years old and is consuming or about to consume alcohol in contravention of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998. Under these circumstances a PSO may demand to see particulars of the person's name and address.

If the person refuses to give their details the PSO may caution the person and then if the refusal continues, arrest them without a warrant.

See s. 126—Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (Vic) and Underage drinking and drunk offences.

If person is driving in vicinity of a designated area

A PSO may require a driver to stop and produce their driver licence or learner permit and to state their name and address if the PSO signals or requests them to do this. The vehicle must be being driven into or out of a railway car park, council controlled car park or in the vicinity of a designated place at the time this request is made.

Maximum penalty

If a person fails to give their name and address when they are required to do so they can be fines up to 5 penalty units or imprisonment for up to one month.

See ss. 59(1A), 59(2)—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic).

Graffiti or public transport offences

A PSO may require a person to provide their name and address if the PSO believes on reasonable grounds that they have committed or are about to commit an offence under the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 or regulations or any graffiti related act. The PSO may also ask for evidence that the person is giving their correct name and address.

For examples of the kinds of offences that can prompt a PSO to ask for name and address see 'Move on' powers for antisocial behaviour.

See s. 218B—Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 (Vic).

Maximum penalty

If the person does not comply with this request they can be fined up to 5 penalty units.

More information

Legislation

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

  • s. 456AA—requirement to give name and address

See Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (Vic)

  • s. 126(2)—PSO may require a person to give name, age and address

See Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (Vic).

Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 (Vic)

  • s. 218B—power to require names and addresses

See Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 (Vic).

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 59(1A)—general duty of driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle

See Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic).

Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 (Vic)

See Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 (Vic).

Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) (Conduct on Public Transport) Regulations 2015 (Vic)

See Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) (Conduct on Public Transport) Regulations 2015 (Vic).

Updated