Powers of the Police: Arrests

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Section 24 PACE

·        Prior to SOCPA 2005 police could only arrest for an arrestable offence. Now an arrest can be made for any offence.

·        S.24 (1) A constable may arrest without a warrant

a)      Anyone who is about to commit an offence

b)      Anyone who is in the act of committing an offence

c)      Anyone who he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be or about to commit an offence

d)      Anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an offence.

·        S.24 (2) if a constable had reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed, he may arrest anyone without a warrant whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of it.

·        S.24 (3) if an offence has been committed, a constable may arrest without a warrant.

a)      Anyone who is found guilty

b)      Anyone suspected to be guilty

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Necessity Test

·        To enable a person’s name or address to be ascertained

·        To prevent a person:

§         Causing physical injury to himself or any other person suffering physical injury

§         Causing loss or damage to property

§         Committing an offence against public decency

§         Causing an unlawful obstruction in the highway

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Pace G Code G

·        PACE: Police and Criminal Evidence (ACT)

·        Under Code G a lawful arrest requires two elements

1.      A person’s involvement, suspected involvement or attempted involvement

AND

2.      “Reasonable grounds”

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Police Caution

Code G Paragraphs 3.1 – 3.7:

“You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be used in evidence.”

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Officer Discretion:

Under Code G it remains an operational decision of the arresting officer as to:

·        What action he may take at the point of contact with the individual

·        The necessity criteria, if any, which apply

·        Whether to arrest, report for summons, grant street bail, issue a fixed penalty notice or take any other action open to the officer

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Other powers of arrest:

·        Breaching police bail

·        Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

·        Added 46A which gives police the right to arrest without a warrant

·        Arrest for a breach of the peace

·        Common law right

·        Applies if there has or likely to be a breach

·        Applies if on private premises

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Bibby V Chief Constable of Essex Police (2000)

Set out the common law conditions that much apply. The conditions are:

·        There must be a sufficiently real and present threat to the police

·        The threat must come from the person to be arrested

·        The conduct of that person must clearly interfere with the right of others and its natural consequences

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Arrest with a warrant

S.1 Magistrates Court Act 1980:

·        Police make an application to the Magistrates

-          Supported by written evidence or an oath

·        The evidence needs to show the person has or is suspected of committing an offence

·        An arrest want allows the police to enter and search the suspects home for the purpose of making an arrest

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Arrest by private citizens

·        Section 24A PACE 1984 now regulates a citizens power of arrest

·        Indictable an either way offences

·        S24A(1) PACE 1984

A person other than a constable may arrest without a warrant

a)      Anyone who is in the act of committing an indictable (criminal) offence

b)      Anyone who he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an indictable offence.

·        S241(1) PACE 1984

Defines the grounds to include:

a)      Causing injury to himself or any other person

b)      Suffering physical injury

c)      Causing loss or damage to property

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Information given to suspect

·        A lawful arrest

·        Name of officer (ID)

·        Police station

·        Fact that suspect is under arrest

·        Grounds for the arrest

·        Caution

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Unlawful arrest

A failure to comply with the correct procedures renders the arrest unlawful.

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