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Sweeping changes coming to powers of arrest+entry


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#1 Lord Vader

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 09:28 PM

If you're an officer then you have probably already heard of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. You might not realise however that the Act brings with it some major, sweeping changes to your powers of arrest and related activities. And these changes are due to come into effect on 1st January 2006 :whistle:

The Act has two key sections, 110 and 111, which aim to standardise a constable's power of arrest. What this means in practice is that all offences will have a power of arrest, subject to certain conditions.

Section 110 of SOCAP replaces the existing S.24 and S.25 PACE. It means that the existing phrase "arrestable offence" will become obsolete. It means you can arrest for any indictable offence. If the offence is summary, then there's a "necessity test" to be applied. This is very similar to the existing S.25 PACE conditions, with three important differences:
  • You will no longer be able to arrest someone just because they have an address which is unsuitable for the service of summons
  • You can arrest if it's necessary to allow for the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or suspected offender
  • You can arrest if you think the suspected offender is likely to 'disappear' and thus hinder the investigation
Confused yet? Well it gets even more convoluted...

Section 111 of SOCAP repeals power of arrest for all the offences in Schedule 1A of PACE. This is the Schedule which gives us a power of arrest for offences like disqual driving, assault on police, and TWOC. The theory being that under the the revised S.24 PACE you don't need to specify certain summary offences as being arrestable.

There are a number of other bits of this Section which modify PACE to replace the term "arrestable offence" with "indictable offence" throughout. One side effect of this is that your powers of entry under Sections 17, 18 and 32 of PACE are removed for summary offences, such as:
  • TWOC
  • Disqual driving
  • Fail to stop after injury accident
  • Assault on police
So.... let's say you see Johnny Nogood driving a car and you know he's disqual, he gets home and runs into his house slamming the door behind him before you can catch him, and guess what - you have no power of entry to go get him.

Or... you attend the home address of the registered keeper for a car involved in a non-stop injury accident. The bloke comes out and admits being the owner of the car. You nick him but you have no power of entry under S.32 (search following arrest) because this is a summary offence. So you can't go in and search for the car keys (for example).

Or... the same driver is seen wearing a red tracksuit, when you nick him he's wearing jeans and a t-shirt, he denies being the driver or even owning a red tracksuit. You would not be able to get a S.18 authorisation to go search his house for the offending tracksuit :lol:


In summary (if you'll excuse the pun!), these are major changes to the law affecting not just our powers of arrest but also related everyday powers such as powers of entry. You can read about the above in much more detail in the excellent Centrex digest (accessible here - password is 'digest' password '999').

#2 Sheepy

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 09:35 PM

Dear oh dear this seems confusing!! Think I will try and re read it again sometime and the centrex bit too!
Thanks for the update though . . . hadnt heard too much but this is nice and clear!

#3 Diesel

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 10:18 PM

That does look confusing! :whistle:

#4 Proteus

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 06:09 AM

I thought the idea of that Act was to increase Police powers...

#5 David

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 08:33 AM

I'm totally confused now. I'd love to know who came up with all that. Quite apart from all the above, whose side is the law meant to be on?

'Indictable offence' - another Americanisation?

#6 Bas

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 11:37 AM

So the next big thing in the press will be........

"Unlawful arrests go through the roof"

Very confusing indeed, although quite similar, we now have to learn quite a bit more about the offences inparticular.

#7 MattD

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 07:58 PM

I'm totally confused now. I'd love to know who came up with all that. Quite apart from all the above, whose side is the law meant to be on?

'Indictable offence' - another Americanisation?

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Americanisation david...the term indictable offence has been around in UK law for years.

Surely you were taught the difference between Summary,Indictable and Triable Either Way offences as part of your basic training as an SC?

For those who dont know:

Summary-Less serious offence dealt with soley in a Magistrates Court

Triable Either Way- An offence more serious than a Summary offence that may be dealt with either in a Magistrates Court or a Crown Court.Sometimes the offence is dealt with in a Mags court then sent to a Crown Court for sentence as they have far more sentencing powers.

Indictable- Most serious offences dealt with only in a Crown Court

Im happy with the new changes and think they make things alot more easy.No longer will it be a confusion as to whether you have a power of entry under S17 because you have to ask whether the offence is "Arrestable" or has a power of arrest attached and is therefore not actually "Arrestable" as per S24.

Its all quite simple. Basically you can arrest for any offence as long as you can justify any one of a set of criteria. The first part is identical to S25 but with 2 conditions attached one of which is " To ensure the expedious investigation of the offence" or something similar. So youll never again be thinking "is this arrestable or reportable only?

Powers of entry now only apply for Indictable offences as there will no longer be any such thing as an arrestable offence.In a way that limits our powers of entry somewhat.

Edited by MattD, 29 October 2005 - 08:00 PM.


#8 David

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 09:21 PM

Yes, I understand the difference between the arrests and indictable, but why the change from 'arrestable' to 'indictable'? That's what I am not clear on, and in any event, still sounds very American.

#9 MattD

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 10:25 PM

The change simplifies powers of arrest completely, at present as im sure you know you need to know if the offence is arrestable by definition,has a power of arrest attached ,whether it is an any person or a constabulary power and whether or not the power is a committal only one.

Coupled with that you need to be aware of whether the powers to enter apply,depending on whether the offence is arrestable by definition (in which case yes) or whether it has a power of arrest attached (in which case no).

The change makes things very very simply. Effectivley all offences are now arrestable ones aslong as you can satisfy one of i think 6 criteria a) through f) the key criteria being e) to ensure the offence is investigated expedisiously(sp).

Criteria a) through d) are just a mimick of S25 PACE so we can still arrest for low level offences where we dont know the name or address or where one of the old conditions apply. Ie COPLAN

It couldnt be much easier really, it just seems like a tidying exercise to me. You can arrest for any offence including say littering where applicable aslong as you can justify one of the criteria.

A good example would be say arresting for Criminal Damage, you suspect the offence and arrest under criteria e) so as to allow you to quickly investigate the offence.

The term "arrestable" has been dropped as there is now no longer any definition of an "arrestable" offence. It simply makes clear that all indictable offences (and therefore the most serious ones) are obviously arrestable.The conditions apply so you know when and how to arrest for what are Summary and Triable Either Way offences.

Edited by MattD, 29 October 2005 - 10:29 PM.


#10 The EHO

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 11:21 PM

Can I ask a question?!

I understand that the power of arrest applies to indictable offences.

But does this power include either way offences, or not? As either way offences can be dealt with on indictment, when the Mags deem the matter too serious for them to hear, or upon conviction, where they deem their maximum penalty is too low, or on election.

Or will either way have the same arrest powers as summary?

I ask as some of our offences are summary only, some are either way, and a couple are indictment only.

Ta!

The EHO!

#11 Jon-P

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 11:59 AM

Indictable will include the either way offences. :whistle:

#12 lissa

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:49 PM

We had our monthly training session last night and covered off the changes to Section 24 of PACE that come into effect from 1/1/06.

Basically the major change is that we can now arrest for ANY criminal offence,
However, the power of arrest is only exercisable if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to arrest that person becuase one or more of the reasons supporting the need for arrest is satisfied.
The revised Act states 10 reasons all of which are pretty common sense, a( think Section 25 and your a good way there!)

I could type out all the detail, but not sure if people want to see it, or whether it is ok to put it on the forum???? But thought it was a good 'new' topic to discuss, as personally I think it makes our life a lot simpler, as we no longer have to remember what offences carry a power of arrest and those that dont.

Discuss......

Edited by lissa, 09 November 2005 - 12:50 PM.


#13 Ammo

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:11 PM

Had the Power of Arresting training Monday night - It's great as long as you remember the difference between a offences.

It's less to remember in the long run - role on Midnight on the 31st December - just hope I remember half way through my duty on new years eve that the law has changed!!!

:whistle:

ps everything you want to type out so it can printed off and used as a reference would be very helpfull.

Edited by Ammo, 09 November 2005 - 01:12 PM.


#14 Bas

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:23 PM

I'm still a little confused over it, but getting there. LV posted about this a month ago HERE

We've yet to have training on it, but I would hope they are going to. Running out of time to expect us to digest all of this!

#15 Sheepy

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:29 PM

After the training session, all of the thing in the reference library became muchmuch easier to understand! Will re read the other thing again now!

#16 MattD

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:30 PM

Im pretty amazed that as of yet we havent had any training nor been informed there will be any training on it..is the current timetable beging stuck todoes anyone know..will the powers take effect 1/1/06

#17 DC

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:31 PM

Basically the major change is that we can now arrest for ANY criminal offence,
However, the power of arrest is only exercisable if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to arrest that person becuase one or more of the reasons supporting the need for arrest is satisfied.


Can't Police Officers do that anyway, Under Section 25 of the Police and Criminal Evidence act?

#18 pH_14

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:01 PM

Not entirely - S.25 delivers a fairly general power of arrest but it does still have a number of restrictions and doesn't create a free for all.

#19 Sheepy

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:05 PM

Can't Police Officers do that anyway, Under Section 25 of the Police and Criminal Evidence act?


Only when about 7 conditions are met . .

#20 Pinky

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:06 PM

Not entirely - S.25 delivers a fairly general power of arrest but it does still have a number of restrictions and doesn't create a free for all.


Which a lot of people have trouble with - generally people think Sec.25 gives you the right to arrest anybody for anything.

I know several people who have come a cropper at the Custody desk with that one.

#21 BH41x

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:07 PM

Im pretty amazed that as of yet we havent had any training nor been informed there will be any training on it..is the current timetable beging stuck todoes anyone know..will the powers take effect 1/1/06


Roger that for GlosPol!

#22 lissa

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:08 PM

Only when about 7 conditions are met . .



dont you mean at least one of the seven conditions are met....... :whistle:

and in answer to someones earlier post, yes we were told that as of one minute past midight on new years day, we should follow the new Act.

#23 Sheepy

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:24 PM

dont you mean at least one of the seven conditions are met....... :whistle:

and in answer to someones earlier post, yes we were told that as of one minute past midight on new years day, we should follow the new Act.


Oops, thats what I meant! Glad someone knows my stupidity!

#24 Diesel

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:49 PM

dont you mean at least one of the seven conditions are met....... :whistle:

and in answer to someones earlier post, yes we were told that as of one minute past midight on new years day, we should follow the new Act.


Thats it in a nutshell....Basically we will be able to arrest under S24 PACE to:

1. Confirm name
2. Confirm address
3. Prevent causing injury to self or others
4. Prevent suffering injury
5. Protect child/vunerable person
6. Prevent loss/damage to property
7. Prevent unlawful blockage of highway
8. Facilitate proper investigation of any offence/action
9. Prevent prosecution being hindered by dissapearence
10. Preserve public decency

(These are set in no particular order)

#25 Top Cat

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:56 PM

Which a lot of people have trouble with - generally people think Sec.25 gives you the right to arrest anybody for anything.

I know several people who have come a cropper at the Custody desk with that one.


Which takes us back to the discussion about the quality of the recruitment process.
The concept of sec 25 is simple and easy to understand, but like Pinky says... there are people out there who don't, who are paid to... :whistle:




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