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Criminal Justice Act 2003 – Amendments to PACE


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#1 Pulpculture

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 01:04 PM

Criminal Justice Act 2003 – Amendments to PACE

As outlined earlier the Criminal Justice Act 2003 passed through Parliament in
November.

On 20 January 2004 a number of sections will be brought into force introducing changes to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Other measures such as provisions regarding the reclassification of cannabis will be introduced on 29 January.

The following sections will be introduced on 20 January.

Section 1: Extension of powers to stop and search: PACE Section 1(8)

Offences under section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 are added to the list of
offences specified in section 1(8) of PACE.


Section 2: Warrants to enter and search: PACE Section 16

This provides that any person authorised to accompany a constable in the execution of a warrant has the same powers as that constable in the execution of the warrant and search and seizure of anything related to the warrant.

These powers may only be exercised in the company of and under the supervision of the constable. This will allow civilian police staff to take an active role in search and seizure operations and enable wider and more effective use of such persons, who may well have specialist knowledge or expertise.

Section 4: Bail elsewhere than at a police station

...

Section 7: Limits on periods of detention without charge: PACE Section 42

This extends the maximum period of detention for arrestable offences from 24 hours to 36 hours.

An officer of superintendent rank or above can extend detention without charge up to an overall period of 36 hours if satisfied that detention is:

♦ necessary to secure or preserve evidence and

♦ that the investigation is being conducted diligently and expeditiously; and

♦ that the relevant offence is an arrestable offence.

Section 8: Property of detained persons: PACE Section 54(1) and (2)

The amendment effectively removes the absolute obligation on the custody officer to record everything, which a detained person has with him. There will no longer a
requirement for any records which are made to be kept as part of the custody record.

There is still a duty on the custody officer to ascertain everything a detained person has with him.

Section 11: PACE Codes of Practice: PACE Section 67

This has no direct impact. The section introduces changes to PACE allowing more
frequent up-dating of the Codes to ensure relevance to statutory requirements and to any changes impacting on the powers of the police and the investigation of crime.

These important provisions will impact considerably on operational policing and training. The Home Office have issued two circulars relating to the above provisions and these can be found at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk
The first provides details of the changes to PACE introduced by the Criminal Justice Act on 20 January and the second focuses specifically on “Street Bail”.

Trainers and practitioners should note that is highly likely that the Home Office will issue a further revision of the Codes of Practice to PACE in April 2004 reflecting amongst other things the changes outlined above.

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 can be found at http://www.hmso.gov.uk




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