- Most police powers are set out under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
The 8 Codes of Practice under PACE
- Code A= Stop and search powers
- Code B= Powers to search premises and seize property
- Code C= Dealing with detention and questioning of suspects
- Code D= Rules for identification procedures
- Code E= Rules for tape recording interviews with suspects
- Code F= Rules for video recording interviews with suspects
- Code G= Powers of arrest
- Code H= Detention, treatment and questioning of those arrested under s41 Terrorism Act 2000
Powers to Stop and Search
Powers under PACE
- Main police power to stop and search is s1 PACE
- Means police can stop and search people/ vehicles in a public place
- Must have reasonable grounds that the suspect has stolen goods or prohibited articles (Offensive weapons, burglary equipment etc.)
- Police officer must give his name and station
- Osman vs DPP
- Can only be asked to remove outer coat, jacket and gloves (s2 (9) PACE).
- Police officer must produce a written report
- The suspect is entitled to a copy of the report
- If out of public view, copper can ask suspect to remove shoes and t shirt.
- Search must be carried out at similar place to the stop.
- "Reasonable suspicion cannot be based on personal factors"
- Powers must be used fairly and responsibly
- Race, age, appearance, previous convictions cannot be used as the excuse
- Must be an objective basis for the stop and search, such as information
- Reasonable suspicion can be based on behavior
- Police officer can base his suspicions on appearance IF the suspect is showing membership to a gang who often carry knives etc.
Other powers to stop and search;
- Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
- Terrorism Act 2000
- Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994: A police officer can stop anyone without any reason, if a senior officer has authorised it, in anticipation of violence.
- Since 2004, Code of Practice A means that voluntary searches are no longer allowed, unless the officer has reasonable suspicion
- Increasing use. 1 million stops and searches in 1998, 100,000 in 1986.
- MacPherson report found that police officers were institutionally racist (Led to decrease in the use of powers.
- Certain groups more likely to be stopped.
- Black people are 6 times more likely to be stopped.
- Now about 850,000 stops and searches every year
Balance between crime prevention and human rights:
- Police cannot ask people to remove religious attire.
- This lead to the 7/7 bombings
Does it lead to arrest?
- Before 1999, 10% of stops and searches resulted in arrest
- In 1996, Tottenham had 50% less searches, 17% more arrests, but 17% more crime.
Powers of Arrest:
- Powers of arrest under PACE were changed in 2005 by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act
Powers of arrest under PACE:
- Section 24 PACE.
- Police can arrest anyone if they have reasonable suspicion that an offence is being committed, has been committed or will be committed.
- Very wide powers of arrest, but…