However, it is common to observe the UK police force confusing these two offences when arresting under suspicion. Many practices involve the suspect being arrested on suspicion of assault upon it being found that he/she has attacked the victim physically.
Whether or not this attack is serious (thus occasioning ABH or being GBH), physical contact is battery not assault.
For those not aware of the definition of common law assault, is it the victim apprehending or fearing immediate harm with the suspect being held to mens rea of either intention or recklessness.
I would like to ask fellow officers about their viewpoint on the application of common law assault in policing (particularly, the scope of application and variation between areas of the country).
I would also like to find out what officers think of this offence in comparison to s2 Public Order Act which tends to be substituted for s39 assault in many situations.
Being a law student, my contact with the Criminal law is very theoretical and I would appreciate inputs which highlight the actual guidelines provided to officers in applying these offences on the street.
Edited by LLB1986, 19 February 2009 - 05:21 PM.