Published: 14 July 2015
Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs (a) how many times have the police exercised its 'move-on powers' since they have been entrusted with such powers through the Public Order Act; (b) whether these powers have enabled the police to diffuse potentially violent situations and maintain order; and (c) if so, whether examples of such situations can be provided.
1. Move-on orders have proven to be a useful means for the Police to pre-emptively de-escalate potential public order situations and stop unauthorised activities that could cause public alarm or disorder in public places. By issuing the move-on orders, Police were able to stop potential illegal actions and disperse those involved without the need to effect arrests.
2. Before move-on orders were introduced, Police could either warn an offender and follow-up with post-event investigations in the case of a non-arrestable offence, or arrest an offender on the spot in the case of an arrestable offence. The former option presented limited scope for officers to prevent incidents from escalating, while the latter option limited the flexibility of Police action in cases where the offender did not pose a substantial threat and was amenable to counsel.
3. Since the Public Order Act was enacted in 2009, 20 move-on orders have been issued by the Police. 19 subjects of the orders complied and no further adverse incident took place. The remaining subject failed to comply with the order and was consequently arrested.