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PSOs lack power to execute some arrest warrants – August 2019

Information about the lack of powers that protective services officers (PSOs) have in relation to making an arrest of a person who does not turn up at court.

Monday 5 August 2019 at 12:00 am

It appears that PSOs do not always have the power to arrest a person who has failed to appear in court. 

This is due to a legal loophole, Under the Magistrates' Act 1989, PSOs are only empowered to execute a warrant to arrest if that warrant is directed to a named police officer (but not if it is directed to all police officers generally). This may lead to some criminal convictions being contested. This problem goes back to 2011 when the PSOs were given various powers within designated areas. Victoria Police is working with the Department of Justice and Community Safety to remedy this by the introduction of a new Bill.