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About Gandhi Nivas and PSOs

Gandhi Nivas is a partnership between Auckland-based medical provider network Nirvana Health Group, Counties Manukau Police and Sahaayta Counselling and Social Support. The partnership was established using a Lotteries Commission grant and receives on-going funding from Total Healthcare PHO and other private funders.

The Concept

The concept grew from discussions between Counties Manukau Police and their South Asian Police Advisory Board (members of which are Ranjna Patel, Venkat Raman, Ibrar Sheikh, Moses Singh, Sohail Chaudary and Manjula Walgampola), with the objective of providing early intervention and prevention services to people identified at risk of committing domestic violence to help them change their behaviour, reduce the likelihood of further domestic violence and increase safety for families.

The Focus

Gandhi Nivas focuses on (a) Ensuring victims are placed first by not having to leave their homes and families (b) Preventing family violence from reoccurring by providing appropriate crisis intervention counselling and support services (c)

Placing greater emphasis on early intervention and prevention by identifying violence early and intervening immediately.

Recognising and providing for diverse needs and circumstances.

About Police Safety Orders (PSO)

Police Safety Orders (PSO) are issued as an interim safety measure when Police have reasonable grounds to believe that there is a risk of family violence, or that an incident of family violence has occurred. Persons who are bound by PSO are not permitted to return to the home they share with protected persons (including children) or assault, threaten, intimidate or harass the protected person, or retain possession of firearms or any firearm license for the period of the order, which is up to five days and usually between two and three days.

The effect of a Police Safety Order

When a PSO is made the person bound by it must leave the address while the PSO is in force, even if they own the address and/or normally live there.

The bound person must not assault, threaten, intimidate or harass the protected person (the person at risk) or encourage anyone else to do the same; must not follow, stop or contact in any way the person at risk in any place, either at home, at work or anywhere else the person at risk visits often; must surrender all firearms and their firearms licence to the police for the period of the PSO.

Children protected

The PSO also protects any children living with the person at risk. Any conditions of parenting orders or agreements permitting access or care by the bound person are suspended.

The Police may detain the bound person for up to two hours to issue and serve the PSO. There is no right of appeal.

On the breach

If the bound person does anything that is not permitted by the PSO, Police can take the person into custody and put them before the Court.

The Court may issue a warrant to arrest the bound person if it is needed to bring them before the Court.

The Court may release the bound person without any further order; direct Police to issue another PSO; issue a Temporary Protection Order (if the person at risk does not object). The Court does not need an application from anyone to issue a Temporary Protection Order.

No criminal convictions result from the issue of a Police Safety Order.

Other offences, such as assaults or property damage, will be investigated and charges laid where sufficient evidence exists.

Getting help

There are several agencies you can phone for help.

Over the Phone: Shine 0508-744633; Are You Ok Information Line 0800-456450; Women’s Refuge 0800 REFUGE

On the Web: www.areyouok.org.nz; www.familyservices.govt.nz; www.nnsvs.org.nz; womensrefuge.org.nz

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