Police protection orders are a common thing across the globe as a way of protecting citizens against criminals and abusers. Anyone who feels that his or her life is under threat can apply for police protection, or individuals who need to boost their security.
What is Police Protection?
Police protection entails the type of protection given to people who are facing safety and security threats [Source 1]. The threat can be imminent or not. A person can request protection unless it is a child or a senior citizen who need grown-ups to request on his or her behalf
Police Protection Act
The Police Protection Act relies on a country’s rules and regulations. The underlying principle is that this act is driven by a nation’s constitution. It belts out the primary duties and conduct of the police department. The police department is under the State’s authority and it is under public service of performing the given task of protecting the citizens.
The police protection act outlines duties to be performed by the human force within the police department. This includes stopping crime, arresting criminals, abiding by the law, enforcing the law to the general public. They are entrusted with protecting the vulnerable groups in society.
The Police Protection Act is intertwined with the court’s protective and restraining orders.
Reasons for applying for Police Protection
Reasons for applying for police protection differ as per individual. People can apply for protection to stay safe from abusers. For instance, in cases of domestic violence, one can apply for an order to stay safe from the abuser. Police protection is also sought by witnesses who are supposed to provide testimonies in a court of law in dangerous court cases.
Individuals who receive threats might seek police protection and other figures who are in the public eye [Source]. A person who suspects that his or her life is in danger can apply for police protection. It is especially rich people, influencers, politicians, or journalists
How to apply for Police Protection
The procedure to apply for police protection varies depending on state laws. In some areas, one has to approach the courts and get a protective order. They must prove that their life and safety are actually under threat from some individuals. Under some laws, a person is required to write a letter to the police officials. It can be addressed to the commissioner or deputy commissioner applying for police protection. The letter must state reasons why he or she should be given one [Source].
Usually, a person is supposed to report the matter to the police who might take it further to court or action it at their level. The police department can only assign full-time protection in serious cases. Residents might have other forms of protection such as patrol units. They can get the local police to station themselves in their neighborhood.
Some police departments do allow the hiring of police to ensure one’s safety [Source]. In India, a person can file a petition to the High Court seeking relief for a security threat. [Source] The court will order the police to make necessary arrangements through the ‘Mandamus’ which is a ‘Writ’ given to the police.
What happens when you apply?
After applying for a protection order, an assessment is carried out to see if a person’s safety is under threat. After applying for police protection, “a proper security threat assessment is conducted by the special police team viz. CID etc” [Source]. The findings will determine whether there is a need for police protection. It also determines the quantity of security needed and if the threat is imminent or not.
What are the requirements?
To apply for police protection, an individual’s safety must be under threat. Usually, if the victim is a child, then the police and social workers can prove that the child is being abused and his or her life is in danger. There is also a need for a person to have concrete proof that there is danger looming. They must be prepared to adhere to all the security protocols given by the security detail. One must report to the police first or write to them, then if the case requires higher officials, the issue will be channeled by the police.
What are the benefits?
Police protection prevents future harassment of victims [Source]. In cases of domestic violence, police protection will ensure the abuser is not going to beat anyone else under threat of arrest. Police protection is a legal way of protecting yourself rather than engaging in violence that might lead to death. It helps in keeping people away from committing crimes by seeking revenge towards the abusers and punishing them. Also, a person can live freely knowing that he or she is protected by the police whose primary duty is to stop any form of crime and protect the citizens.
Private Police Protection
As mentioned above, a person can hire police for private police protection. For example, popular musicians do hire police at their shows or when shooting a video in a crowded place. Private police protection is also used by influencers and other wealthy individuals. The police do offer those services by escorting national sports teams or a celebrity. Under India’s laws, a person can make a request to the District Superintendent of Police for police security at private gatherings such as weddings and social functions. Security will be provided after paying money [Source].
File order of Protection Online
People can file orders of protection online through e-filing. They can use various internet platforms offered in different localities. For instance, in Missouri, a petitioner can create an account on the State of Missouri’s Courts’ website and after completion. An email is sent and the petitioner will be able to file an order online [Source], and the courts also assist through instructions on how to file the order.
The Arizona Protective Order Initiation and Notification Tool (AZPOINT) is another portal that allows e-filing of protection orders and there is no fee needed. [Source]. These platforms can be used to even file on behalf of someone such as a minor or the elderly or someone who is not able to file on their own.