Powers of the Police to Arrest without a warrant

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  • A warrant would be issued by a Magistrate. The police can apply to the magistrates for a warrant to arrest a suspect under s1 of the Magistrates Court Act 1980
  • S24 PACE 1984
  • S110 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005-substitutes new s24
  • Has the 2005 Act given the police too much power?
  • An arrest can now be made for any offence whereas previously the offence had to be an arrestable one
    • An arrestable offence was quite a serious one but now you can be arrested for any offence
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New S24 PACE

  • Very wide powers
  • Police powers limited by the 'necessity test'
  • Is this test adequate to protect the innocent?
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The Necessity Test

  • Introduced in 2005 as new S24
  • How to justify arrest without a warrant under S24. If they don;t use this, the arrest is unlawful
  • An arrest can only be made if police officer has reasonable grounds for beliving that the arrest is necessary for one of the following reasons:
    • to find out name and address if believe giving false details or if refuse to give information
    • to prevent the pwerson causing injury to another person or damage to a property or suffering injury themselves, committing an offence against public decency or causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway
    • to protect a child or other vunerable person
    • to allow a prompt and effective investigation
    • to prevent any prosecution of the offence being hindered by the disappearance of the person
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What Grounds are open to abuse int eh Necessity Te

  • The 2 grounds that are abused are: 
    • to allow a prompt and effective investigation
    • to prevent any prosecution of the offence being hindered by the disappearance of the person
  • Richardson v Chief Constable of West Midlands (2011)
    • Richardson was a teacher with no ciminal record
    • A pupil had accused Richardson of assaulting him.
    • Richardson agreed to be interviewed by the ploice
    • He attended local police station but was asked to go to another stattion where they had the facilities to question him.
    • At 2nd section he was arrested
    • After hearing his explanation, police decided to take no further action.
    • Richardson sued police for false imprisonment; police held they needed to arrest him to allow a prompt and effective investigation.
    • High Court decided Richardson was co-operating fully and arrest was unnecessary.
    • £1000 in damages rewarded
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PACE Code of Practice G (Code G)

Lawful arrest inquiries

  • Involvment in a crime-actual, suspected or attempted


  • Reasonable grounds for beliving that an arrest is necessary


  • Person must be told that they are under arrest and reason for it


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Operational Decision by Arresting Officer

  • The arresting officer has a choice (disgretion)
    • Make arrest on basis of the necessity test
    • Report for summons (recieved later)
    • Greant street bail (free to go)
    • Issue a fixed penalty notice
    • Other action
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Use of Reasonable Force

  • Has to be proportionate.
  • Can't use more force than what is required
  • If it's a little bit more than needed, police can get away with it if it is a honest and instinctive reaction
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Arrest for Breaching Police Bail

  • S46A of PACE
  • Power to arrest without a warrant
  • Anyone on bail who fails to attend police station at set time
  • Arrest anyone without a warrant if they're in breach of bail
  • Bail:-let out of custody whilst building a case. Asked to surrender passport. If fail to turn up to report to police as required or turn up to trial you can be arrested without a warrant.
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Arrest for Breach of the Peace

  • Breach of the Peace-creating friction where there is no reasonable reason for it; disturbing th peace of the community. Police anticipating violence can step in before it starts.
  • Common Law right-not found in ACt of Parliament-power granted by judges
  • Applies where there has been or is likely to be a breach of the peace
  • Applies to private premises.
    • McConnell v Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police (1990)
      • Manager of carpet store had asked McConnell to leave-he refused. Police came and took D outside. D tried to re-enter to arrested him for conduct which might cause a breach of the peace. D sued the police for false imprisonment on basis that breach of the peace can't take place on private premises. Court of appeal held arrest was lawful.
  • Bibby v Chief Constable of Essex Police (2000)
    • Court of Appeal set out the conditions that apply to an arrest for breaching the peace
      • Has to be a real threat to the peace
      • Threat has to come from person being arrested
      • That person must be interfering with the rights of others and the natural consequence must be 'not wholly unreasonable violence from a third party'
      • The conduct of the person being arrested must be unreasonable.
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Manner of Arrest

  • Police must tell suspect that they are under arrest and reason at the time of arrest or as soon as practicable
  • Reasonable force may be used
  • Language must be understandable-Taylo v CHief Contable of Thames Valley Police (2004)
    • Taylor was 10 at the time of arrest. He'd been throwing stones during an animal rights demonstration. He then took part in another demonstration and the policeman recognised (identified) him. Policeman said "I am arresting you on suspicion of violent disorder on April 18th 1998 at Hilgrove Farm" Court of appeal held that the language was understandable and there was a lawful arrest. Taylor maintained that he didn't understand.
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Right to Search once arrested

  • For anything that could aid an escape
  • For anything that could be evidence relating to offence
  • Only outer coat, jacket and gloces can be removed in public
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Citizen's Arrest

  • S24A of PACE
  • Limited to indictable offences
  • Suspect must be commiting the offence or reasonable grounds for beliving offence being commmitted or that offence has been committed.
  • Citizen must have reasonable grounds for beliving that an arrest is necessary AND that it is nor reasonably practicable fot the police to carr out the arrest.
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