Police Powers

AS Law OCR Police Powers Revision Cards

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  • Created by: Beth
  • Created on: 20-04-10 19:31

Background to Police Powers

Police powers (which must be followed) are set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE)

It contains code of practice to give guidance and recommendations for police officers. Breach of this practice will result in disciplinary action.

It was created due to the decline in public confidence as a result of miscarriages of justice. (e.g. Guilford Four and the Birmingham Six)

Other influences on p.powers: Human Rights Act 1998, Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (etc)

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Stop and Search

1. Section 1 PACE The police have a right to stop and search a PERSON OR VEHICLE, in a PUBLIC PLACE and if they have REASONABLE GROUNDS to suspect they will find stolen or prohibited articles.

2. Reasonable Grounds Reasonable = REASONABLE SUSPICION based on supporting evidence. Unreasonable = Stopping in basis of AGE, RACE, APPEARANCE or PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS

3. Procedure Officer must state NAME, STATION and the REASON for stopping. If not in uniform, produces a WARRANT card. Has to produce a WRITTEN RECORD of the stop and give a copy to suspect. (ref: Osman v DPP 1999)

4. Limitations Officer may use REASONABLE FORCE if necessary. Can only ask a person to remove OUTER CLOTHING in public, anymore has to be done out of public view. (ref: Davis v Lisle)

5. Other powers Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994 - Gives the police the power to S&S in anticipation of violence Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 - Search for illegal drugs

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1. Section 24 (SOCPA) May arrest if... they suspect a person IS, HAS OR IS ABOUT to commit a crime. Have REASONABLE GROUNDS to suspect. If it is NECESSARY to arrest.

2. Reasonable grounds Officer must SUSPECT an offence and consider if the facts displayed would lead an ORDINARY CITIZEN to suspect that person.

3. Procedure Suspect to be TOLD they are UNDER ARREST, must be CAUTIONED, told the CORRECT REASON, be shown ID, and taken to a STATION as soon as possible. (ref: Christie v Leachinsky)

4. Limitations (What makes an arrest necessary? - NIPPOCID) To get NAME, to prevent INJURY and PROPERTY damage, prevent PUBLIC INDECENCY, to prevent an OBSTRUCTION, to protect a CHILD, to allow INVESTIGATIONS and to prevent DISAPPEARANCE.

5. Other powers BY SUMMONS (failure to answer summons) BY WARRANT (when a person has escaped from custody) Common Law. Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. (ref: R v Atkinson)

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Detention (Part 1)

1. Custody Officer Once arrested and taken to the police station, the citizen is in the care of the CUSTODY OFFICER. The custody officer has the responsibility of: Checking that the suspect has UNDERSTOOD the info and to confirm PERSONAL details. To keep a LOG of all activities of the detainee. Take record of POSSESSIONS. Perform a NON-INTIMATE search. Take FINGERPRINTS.

2.Limitations Max time for all offences = 24 hours (they must be charged or let go) // Extended max time for serious offence = 36 hours (with permission from Superintendent) // Extended max time = 96 hours (with permission from the Magistrates Court) // Extended max time under the Terrorism Act = 28 days

The suspect has the right to: have someone INFORMED, have access to LEGAL ADVICE, to see CODES OF PRACTICE.

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