Move-on powers and practices of social exclusion: an examination of governance

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This paper extends Valverde’s call to examine spatiotemporal governance and jurisdiction in the exercise of formal and informal control through an analysis of the everyday policing of public spaces in Victoria, Australia. Move-on powers were introduced via legislation in 2009, following calls for greater police powers to combat antisocial behaviour and violence, predominantly in the Melbourne CBD. While initially presented as a response to issues surrounding Melbourne’s nightlife, the use of these powers has expanded to include moving on rough sleepers and others. As we establish in this paper, such powers are also being exercised, with or without legal authority, by a broad range of actors, resulting in a flattening of the legal hierarchy of move-on powers. Our analysis also highlights the everydayness of being moved on for individuals and populations who are consistently targeted, bringing to the fore the often-hidden nature of practices of exclusion. We argue that the examination of policing practices in relation to move-on powers must also include the expansive and increasingly informal nature of policing public space, which we refer to, collectively, as move-on practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-384
Number of pages16
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • exclusion
  • governance
  • Move-on powers
  • policing

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