Police and Child Safety Officer Interviews with Students, and Police Searches at State Educational Institutions

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​This procedure outlines the responsibilities of Principals and staff of state educational institutions in relation to interviews of students by police and child safety officers, arrest of students and police searches at state educational institutions.


​Not applicable.



  • Ensure police or child safety officer interviews of students only occur on state educational institution premises in exceptional circumstances.
  • Follow the processes listed below for the arrest or removal of a student, or searches by police.
  • Ensure the process is adhered to by all state educational staff members.

State educational institution staff 

Police are responsible for arranging  an adult support person for a student. School staff are not obliged to assist, however if a staff member does attend an interview  as a students support person, they must be aware of the following:

  • The main role of a support person is to be present during the interview with the student and to support the student where possible.
  • They may be required to provide a written and signed statement, attend court and give evidence as a result of their attendance in the interview.

The role and responsibility of all persons involved, (including the support person) will be clarified by the interviewing officer prior to and during the interview.​



  • No police (including school-based police officers) or child safety officer interviews may occur on state educational institution premises except in the following circumstances:

Arrest or removal of a student

  • Allow police to arrest a student if police are able to cite the appropriate statutory authority under which arrest is to be made.
  • Allow police or a child safety officer to remove a student from a state educational institution if police or a child safety officer are exercising power under s.18 of the Child Protection Act 1999.
  • Contact the parent/carer of the student unless directed not to by police.
  • Record any direction by police not to contact a parent/carer of the student on the student’s file.

Searches by police

  • Allow police to search property belonging to state educational institution by invitation. This includes school grounds, classrooms, lockers, desks but does not include student bags or student’s person.
    • Ensure that searches are necessary or prudent and that the timing and number of such searches during the school year are appropriate in the eyes of the school community and not overly disruptive to school routine.
  • If police demand to search state educational institution premises without invitation, ensure that police are acting under:
    • a statutory power (that police are able to cite) or
    • a search warrant (that police are able to produce).
  • Ensure relevant records or property are available for police if they have given reasonable notice that they intend to execute a warrant for specific state education institution records or property, Keep a copy of  warrants produced, field receipts for property, and, if possible, a copy of any original documents taken by police. 

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Interviews are where police or child safety officers, in the performance of their official duties, speak to a student. In the case of school-based police officers (SBPO), this does not include mere social interaction with students as the result of the SBPO’s official presence at a state school.