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1. Police Powers …. Please take these presentation notes to class. . PRECIS NOTES WILL BE CHECKED. PowerPoint presentation produced by Dr Peter Jepson. 2. Police Powers are …. A balance between detection and individual freedom. We have a right to privacy.

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police powers


Police Powers …

Please take these presentation notes to class.


PowerPoint presentation produced by Dr Peter Jepson

police powers are


Police Powers are …

A balance between detection and individual freedom.

We have a right to privacy.

The ECHR makes the tradition of an assumption to privacy a firmer right.

silence in this lecture


Silence in this Lecture
  • Switch off your mobile
  • Take notes
  • Raise your hand if you have any question
  • Do NOT eat food in this classroom or leave any litter.
human rights act 1998


Human Rights Act 1998
  • Introduced the ECHR into English Law.
  • Parliament can choose to pass laws that do not comply with human rights.
  • All Bills required to have a Minister’s Human Rights declaration.
  • If UK law does not comply can be made to do so under s10 of Human Rights Act 1998.
echr rights


ECHR Rights…
  • Only Article 3 gives absolute rights – no one shall be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment.
  • Most rights have exceptions.
  • For the next class – research and then present details of our Human Rights to the entire class.
individual v society


Individual v Society…
  • For example, the conflict between a freedom to express racist opinion and the harm to others and society as a whole.
  • A right to privacy does not mean a right to download pornography from the internet, even in the privacy of one’s home.
  • It is in the interests of society to have a police force that investigates crime.
police powers7


Police Powers
  • Police need powers to search, detain and arrest people, to do their job.
  • These powers do infringe the right of an individual.
  • Should we try to regulate the powers of the police?
  • The problem for the legal system is how one can regulate police powers so as to ensure they remain effective, but are not abused.
legislative history


Legislative History

Break into five Law Firms to produce notes and present to class - using the roving keyboard - the following:

  • Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure (page 125 of ELS)
  • Miscarriage’s of Justice (page 126)
  • The Runciman Commissions (page 127)
  • The Labour Govts Policies (page 128)
  • The Macpherson Report (page 128)
the police and criminal evidence act 1984 pace


The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE)

Prior to this Act there was no regulation of police activity across the UK.

  • This Act sets out the rules for police activity in relation to search, arrest, interview and detention.
  • It is a statute - which is legally binding on the Police.
  • Accompanying Codes of Practice are guidance only and not legally binding.
powers of stop and search s 1 of pace


Powers of Stop and Search… s.1 of PACE
  • s.1 of PACE gives Police Officers powers to stop and search a person or a vehicle in a public place, or a place to which the public have access, provided that the Officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that they will find stolen or prohibited articles.
  • ‘Reasonable grounds’ is an objective test – based on what an ordinary person may think is reasonable.
tomlinson v dpp


Tomlinson v DPP.
  • A man is walking aimlessly through SOHO in a place where drugs are often found. Do you think this gives police grounds to stop and search him?
  • Powers to stop and search found in Code A (via s.66 of PACE) which explains that ‘reasonable grounds’ is an objective test and then considers the issue of stereotyping…


  • For example, a person’s colour, age, hairstyle or manner of dress, or the fact that he is known to have a previous conviction for possession of an unlawful article, cannot be used alone or in combination with each other as the sole basis on which to search that person.
complaints by high profile black people


Complaints by high profile black people…
  • Neville Lawrence.
  • Lord Taylor, while out jogging.
  • Bishop of Stepney – stopped eight times.
  • Is it a civic duty to co-operate when stopped by the Police?
  • Rice v Connolly (1966) D refused to give his name and address – established there is a moral duty to co-operate with the police – not a legal one.
police keep a record of each stop and search


Police Keep a Record of each Stop and Search…
  • In 1995 out of 160,000 stopped and searched some 60% were black
  • Under s.2 of PACE the name and police station of the Officer must be stated, along with an explanation of the reason for the search and the grounds for believing stolen or prohibited articles will be found.
  • s.3 of PACE states Police Officer must make a written record.
s 5 of pace requires chief constable to give annual data on stop and search


s.5 of PACE requires Chief Constable to give annual data on stop and search
  • Note: If the search is voluntary NONE of the safeguards and rules of PACE apply.
  • Questions– How could a person who has been stopped and searched challenge it under the Human Rights Act?
  • If you volunteer to be searched, what rights do you have to challenge it later?
powers of arrest


Powers of arrest.
  • Under s.24 of PACEanyone may arrest a person who is reasonably suspected of committing an ‘arrestable offence’.
  • An arrestable offence is one is which the sentence is set by law (e.g. murder) or where the sentence could be 5 years (theft or criminal damage).
  • Other arrestable offences: - taking a car or being equipped to steal.
an arrest by a civilian will not be lawful if


An arrest by a civilian will not be lawful if…
  • an offence has been committed, but it is not an arrestable offence.
  • no offence has been committed (W.H. Smith case displays how shops can be sued if store detectives arrest when no goods have been stolen).
police can arrest for non arrestable offences if


Police can arrest for non-arrestable offences if…
  • They cannot ascertain the D’s name and address.
  • They believe an arrest is necessary to protect D or others from injury or to protect property or to prevent an offence against public decency or an obstruction of the highway.
  • To protect a child or other vulnerable person.

These are subject to the existence of reasonable grounds for belief.



  • D must be told that they are under arrest and the grounds for their arrest (s.28 PACE).
  • As soon as practical an arrested person must be taken to a police station (s.30 PACE). May Day police – legal challenge.
  • Arrests also governed by Article 5 of ECHR – which provides that no one shall be deprived of their liberty except in certain circumstances.
powers of detention and treatment of suspects


Powers of detention and treatment of suspects.
  • Custody Officer has a legal duty to ensure that PACE is complied with.
  • s.41 PACE provides that a person must be released within 24 hours of their arrival at a Police Station unless they are charged.
  • Under s.42 this can be extended by 12 hours and further still by Magistrates under s.43.
  • Maximum of 96 hours without charge.
responsibility of custody officer


Responsibility of Custody Officer…
  • Keep a custody record.
  • Record D’s possessions.
  • Ensure D is cautioned etc.
  • Ensure D is given rest, meals and has reviews in accord with Code C of Codes of Practice.
  • May search D.
  • Take fingerprints – with or without consent with approval of Superintendent or above.
a defendants rights under pace


A Defendants Rights under PACE…
  • s.56 – a right to have someone informed of their arrest.
  • s.58 – a right to consult privately with a solicitor.
  • A right to consult the Codes of Practice.

s.56 and 58 can be refused if a senior officer has reasonable grounds for believing that an immediate exercise might interfere with evidence or alert others. Must be given within 36 hours.

important safeguards of s 76 and 78 of pace


Important safeguards of s.76 and 78 of PACE…
  • s.76 – if D claims oppression was used to obtain confession – CPS must prove beyond reasonable doubt it was not so obtained.
  • s.78 – A Court may exclude prosecution evidence if it would have “such an adverse effect on the proceedings that it ought not to admit it”.
d should be cautioned


D should be cautioned…
  • When an officer suspects that D is involved in a criminal offence.
  • On arrest, and
  • Before interview.
  • CAUTION: “You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you may later rely on in Court. Anything you say may be given in evidence.”
the consequences of any police abuse of powers


The consequences of any Police abuse of powers…
  • As per PACE, and the relevant Codes of Practice, D is entitled to decent treatment by the police. Sleep and food while detained, and access to a solicitor, are but a few basic rights.
  • Should the Police abuse their powers, s.76 and 78 can result in evidence being excluded at trial.
  • The Police can also be sued.


Activities …
  • Break into two Law Firms to undertake the activities on page 144 of ‘The ELS’ by J Martin (4th edition). Consider the issues from the standpoint of both the arrested person and the police,


Revision …
  • Re-read your notes (and answers to questions) - taken/undertaken at the end of last term - on Pre-trial procedure and police bail.
  • Break into three Law Firms and conduct the Activities on page 161 of The English Legal System’.