The Police need to have powers to investigate crimes. So parliament has given them special powers which can be used in certain circumstances.
These powers include the right to stop suspects, search them, arrest and interview people, and to take finger prints and DNA samples
Without these powers it would be impossible to investigate crimes. However, it is important that people are not unnecssarily harassed by the police and that suspects are protected from unfair treatment. The law, therefore, also sets out certain rights that all suspects have.
Most of the Police powers are set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This is usually abbreviated to PACE. There are eight codes of practice giving more detail on the use of various powers. These codes are:
- CODE A - on stop and search powers
- CODE B - on powers to search premises and seize property
- CODE C - dealing with the detention and questioning of suspects
- CODE D - on the rules for identification procedures
- CODE E on the tape-recording of interviews with suspects
- CODE F - on visual recording with sound of interviews (ie videoing interviews)
- CODE G - on powers of arrest
- CODE H - on detention, treatment and questioning of those arrested under S.41 of the Terrorism Act 2000
THE PURPOSE of stop and search is...
to enable police officers to check out their suspicions without having to arrest the suspect. If stop and search does not find anything then it had been a quick way of checking, rather than having to arrest the individual and take them to a police station.
POWERS UNDER PACE
- Main police power to stop and search is given under s.1 of PACE = this gives the police the right to stop and search people and vehicles in a public place. "Public Place" not omly means the street, but also includes…