WA’s police commissioner has apologised to the family of a young boy wrongly served with a violence restraining order.
The legal bungle was exposed on Monday after a video of the incident was shared on the social media platform TikTok.
It showed the Perth child, who is aged just seven, being served the order by a Mirrabooka police officer.
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Restraining orders can not be issued to children under 10 years of age and it has since been rescinded.
“We’ve gone back to the family and apologised for that and we’ve spent some time with mum and the kids today,” WA police commissioner Col Blanch said on Tuesday.
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“In hindsight, we shouldn’t have done it.
“But we’ve done it so I have got to apologise. We’ve apologised to the family.”
Blanch said the court failed to put the child’s date of birth on the VRO and a young police officer had issued it to the boy, who was with his family.
“It’s really a system issue so we have to go back to the court and say, ‘how could this have occurred?’ And in future, we can’t accept VROs that are unlawful,” he said.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti described the vision as “very distressing”.
“The police acted on the fact the VRO was issued by the court, from my understanding, and when they got back to the police station I believe they then realised the situation ” he said.
“So they were acting according to what they thought was the appropriate measures.
“Of course, it’s something that’s very distressing.”
WA’s top cop has apologised after Mirrabooka police served a seven-year-old Perth boy with a VRO. Credit: Supplied
Police delivered the order on Friday night, unaware he was so young.
A court spokeswoman said the order was cancelled on Monday after police advised the boy was aged seven.
“The court has checked the hearing of the original application and the representation made to the court was that the children the subject of the applications were in high school,” she said.
“The court also made an order that the applicant for the order be personally served with the cancellation notice.”
Blanch said police were not privy to why the child was issued the order in the first place, adding that “our job is to serve them under direction from the court as quickly as possible”.
Blanch said 15,000 violence restraining orders and family violence restraining orders are served by police every year in WA.
– With AAP
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