Message from the Chief Commissioner

About Victoria Police

Protective Services Officers (PSOs)

Release date: Mon 20 February 2012

Last updated: Mon 2 July 2018

The Protective Services Unit (PSU) is Victoria Police's specialist provider of security services. The PSU was established following a 1986 security review and formally commenced operations on 1 May, 1988. A member of the Protective Services Unit is known as a Protective Services Officer (PSO).

PSOs (Security) 

PSOs have specific powers under several statutes that primarily cover areas where they are deployed, in addition to the legislated 'citizen arrest' authority. 

PSOs are appointed to the Protective Services Unit and are then assigned to any unit deployment or task, subject to operational needs, including the following areas:

  • Melbourne's Supreme Court, County Court, Children's Court and Magistrates' Court 
  • Various suburban Magistrates' Courts
  • Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal 
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet 
  • Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation
  • Parliament House Victoria 
  • Government House
  • The Shrine of Remembrance
  • Victoria Police Centre
  • Spencer Street Police Complex

PSOs (Transit)

Protective Services Officers (PSOs) are based on the Victorian railway network and are deployed to support the community and make Victorian railways safer for all users. They undertake patrols of railway stations and surrounding areas.

PSOs are focused on helping those in need of assistance and to detect, prevent and manage anti-social behaviour, crimes against a person, weapons and drug offences and property damage.

Government legislation ensures that Protective Services Officers (PSOs) have a number of powers to keep the community safe, and to respond to behaviours and offences committed on, and in the vicinity of, the network.

While on duty, PSO's can:

  • Request name and address
  • Arrest and detain persons
  • Search people and property - and seize items such as weapons, graffiti implements, drugs and alcohol
  • Issue infringement notices
  • Issue a direction to 'move on' from the area.

Click here to view short videos that describe the role of PSOs and their powers.


Top of Page
Victoria Police Centre 637 Flinders Street Melbourne 3005 | Ph 03 9247 6666 | Fax 03 9247 5727
Copyright © 2005 State of Victoria. All rights reserved.