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Police Powers

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Police Powers The main police powers are set out in Police and criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984. Powers to Stop and Search * S1 - Gives the police the right to stop and search people and vehicles in a public place BUT only if there are REASONABLE GROUNDS for suspecting that the person is in possession of stolen goods or prohibited articles (eg. Weapons). * There are safeguards. The police officer must give: - 1. His name. 2. Station. 3. Reasons for the search. * In Osman v DPP - officers did not give their names and station hence the court held this made the search unlawful. * If the search is in public, police can only request that the suspect removes his outer layer of clothing (coat, jacket, gloves) - S2. * Police officer must make a written report after the search * Code A - states that police officers must not act because of person's characteristics. Still evidence that certain types of people are more likely to be stopped than other groups (eg. Black youths). * Police officers can also stop and search under other Acts (eg. Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989). ...read more.


The police have additional powers to arrest: - 1. Where he has REASONABLE GROUNDS for suspecting an arrestable offence has been committed, he may arrest anyone who has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be found guilty of the offence. 2. Anyone who is ABOUT TO COMMIT an arrestable offence. 3. Anyone who has reasonable grounds for suspecting TO BE ABOUT TO COMMIT an arrestable offence S25 - other cases of arrest. The police have the right to arrest where: - 1. Suspects name and address cannot be discovered. 2. There are reasonable grounds for believing name and address given are false. 3. There are reasonable grounds for believing suspect will cause injury to himself, others or property. 4. Is committing an offence against public decency. 5. Is causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway. In all cases the police officer must inform the person arrested that he is under arrest and must tell him the reasons for his arrest. Police can also arrest anyone in order to prevent a breach of peace. Mc Connell. Powers of Detention * TIME LIMITS - for most offences police may only detain a person for a maximum of 24 hours and must then either charge them or release them. ...read more.


If custody officer thinks a search is necessary than a non-intimate search may be made. Finger prints and body samples. * If detained - police may take fingerprints and non-intimate body sample eg. Hair and saliva - without person's consent. Police can use reasonable force to obtain these. Intimate Samples. * Includes blood, semen, urine, tissue, pubic hair, dental impression, and swabs from mouth. These can only be taken by a nurse or doctor. They must have reasonable grounds for suspecting involvement in a recordable offence. * Any fingerprints and samples must be destroyed if suspect not charged or later found not guilty. Strip Searches * Involves the removal of more than outer clothing. Only takes place if it is necessary to remove an article if there is reasonable suspicion that the suspect may have concealed such an article. * Search must take place in a area, which cannot be seen by others and must be by a member of the same sex. Intimate Searches * High ranking police officers can authorise this if the suspect has with them an item that may cause injury to themselves or others or is in possession of a class A drugs. Consists of an examination of a persons body orifices other than the mouth - carried out by a doctor or nurse. ...read more.

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