Police can take a person into custody while investigating a matter (ss 116–128 DFVP Act). This can occur where they reasonably suspect that a person has committed domestic violence and another person is in danger of personal injury by the person, or property is in danger of being damaged by the person.

Police can detain a person for up to four hours (or eight hours if the respondent is intoxicated to the extent that they are incapable of understanding any document given to them such as the application for a protection order). A police officer can also apply for an order extending the detention period.

A police officer must, as soon as reasonably practicable after a person is taken into custody, prepare an application for a domestic violence order on which the person in custody is named as the respondent (s 118 DFVP Act).