Police Move On Orders

A police officer has the power to issue a move on order (sometimes also called a “move on notice”) under the s27 of Criminal Investigation Act 2006.

A police officer can issue a move on order in circumstances where it is reasonably suspected that a person who is in a public place has committed or is about to commit an offence or where the person is doing an act, about to do act that is likely to:

  • involve the use of violence;
  • cause someone else to use violence;
  • cause another person to fear violence;
  • result in a breach of the peace;
  • obstruct a lawful activity;

A move on order can require a person to go beyond a reasonable distance from that public place. Usually, a move on order will prescribe an area using street names as boundaries and prohibiting the person from venturing inside those boundaries. However, the distance or boundaries in the move on order may be expressed by reference to units of measurement or by using other landmarks as reference points. As long as there is a “reasonable degree” of certainty as to the boundaries: this will be sufficient.

A move on order is to apply for a “reasonable period” buffer no more than 24 hours.

When issuing a move on order, the police officer must take into account the likely effects that the order will have on places where the person usually lives, works or otherwise requires access to.

If the personal details of the person unknown to the police officer, the officer may require the person to provide those details for the purposes of issuing the move on order.

Failing to comply with the move on order is a criminal offence under s153 of the Criminal Investigation Act 2006 and is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $12,000.

It is a defence if, on the balance of probabilities, it can be shown that the person was taking reasonable steps to comply with the order and move away from the area.

Our Advice

If you find yourself in a position where you were issued with a move on order: don’t panic. A move on order is not a criminal conviction or a finding of guilt. So long as you comply with the move on order: it will not show up on a police clearance or criminal record check. It is only where you are charged with a breach of a move on order that this may occur.

Stay calm and comply with the move on order as soon as is reasonably possible. Do not argue with the police as to why you are being issued with a move on order. The police often use move on orders as an alternative to charging someone with a criminal offence.

If you are charged with breach of a move on order: don’t panic. You should seek advice from a criminal lawyer as soon as is practicably possible.  If you have never been in trouble with the police before: the likely outcome is a moderate fine. You may also be a good candidate to receive the benefit of a spent conviction which means a conviction for breach of a move on order would not show on a police clearance or criminal record check.

If you find yourself charged with breaching a move on order or would otherwise like more information regarding move on orders: call us today on 1300 274 692 and one of our team will be more than happy to assist you.