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Individuals have civil rights; people are entitled to be allowed to move freely and to have their person and their property respected.

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Individuals have civil rights; people are entitled to be allowed to move freely and to have their person and their property respected. However the police must have sufficient powers to investigate crimes. Therefore Parliament has given the police special powers that can be used in certain circumstances. These powers include the rights to stop and search suspects, to arrest and interview people when necessary and to take fingerprints and samples (blood samples) for scientific analysis. Without the police having these certain powers then it would be nearly impossible to investigate any crimes. But it is also important for the police to remember that, at the same time, they do not unnecessarily harass ordinary people, and that those who are suspects are protected from overzealous police officers. The law on police powers is covered in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (also known as PACE) and the codes of practice under section 66 of PACE. There are five codes, running from code A to E. Code A deals with the powers to stop and search, code B deals with powers to search premises and seize property, code C deals with the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects, code D deals with rules for identification procedures and code E deals with tape-recording of interviews with suspects. ...read more.


murder), an offence which has a maximum sentence that could be given to an adult is at least five years in prison, or any other offence which Parliament has specifically made and arrestable offence; for example, taking a motor vehicle without consent has been made an arrestable offence. Section 24 of PACE allows the police and private citizens to arrest without a warrant if, D is in the act of committing an arrestable offence, or if an officer has reason to believe that D is committing an arrestable offence and when a arrestable offence has been committed. If an arrestable offence has been committed then the officer can arrest anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it. However the police also have the right to arrest anyone who is about to commit an offence, anyone whom he or she has reasonable grounds to suspect to be about to commit an arrestable offence, and where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that an arrestable offence has been committed, and there are reasonable grounds for suspecting the person arrested. Private citizens do not have these rights, so that if there has not been an arrestable offence, no matter how suspicious the situation is, a private citizen cannot carry out a lawful arrest. ...read more.


This was so even though the defendant appeared able to understand the police questions. The interview was, therefore, not admissible as evidence. The law gives some suspects the protection on the way they should be treated whilst being detained and questioned. Section 76 of PACE states that the court shall not allow statements that have been obtained through oppression to be used as evidence. Oppression is defined as including torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and the use or threat of violence. Code C also gives protection to suspects who are being questioned in regard to the physical conditions of the interview. For example, the code says that interviews must be adequately lit, heated and ventilated and that suspects must be given adequate breaks for meals, refreshments and sleep. In theory the custody officer who is supposed to keep accurate records, should monitor the treatment of a suspect during their detention period. This should include the length and timing of interviews and other matters, such as visits of police officers to the defendants cell, so that any breaches of the rules will be obvious. However, research by Sanders and Bridges suggests that a substantial minority of custody records (10%) are falsified. ...read more.

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