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Gathering Evidence Notes

Law Notes > Criminal Procedure and Evidence Notes

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Supervision 1 - Gathering Evidence PACE 1984 and codes of practice
? PACE empowers the Home Secretary to issue Codes of Practice covering certain aspects of police powers and procedure.
? S.78 details sanctions if Act or Codes contravened.
? Two ways to commence a prosecution: o Arrest suspect without warrant and then have him charged. o Prosecutor may lay charge and summons is issued (Magistrates Court Act 1980, s.1).
? Spencer argues that legislation passed recently concerning powers to gather evidence have reduced integrity of PACE. Arrest without warrant and charge
? S.24 provides that police officer may arrest any person whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of having committed, committing or being about to commit an offence.
? Arrest must be necessary in accordance with criteria in s.24(5) PACE.
? Arrestee must be told the reason for the arrest.
? If police wrongly arrest, damages can be awarded for false imprisonment (Richardson).
? Citizens can only arrest for indictable offences (s.24A), but do they know the difference?
? Prior to asking questions, officer should caution the suspect - official caution under s.34 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (pa.

10.1 Code C). Procedure at the police station
? At station, custody officer has duty to ascertain the possessions of the detainee.
? Custody officer then considers if there is enough evidence to charge detainee. o If not enough evidence to find a charge, officer may sanction detention without charge. o Maximum period of detention without charge is 36 hours, but magistrates' order can increase this to 96 hours (s.42/44).
? Code C controls conduct of police questioning.
? Once detainee charged he may not be asked any further questions (Code C 16.5)
? S.58(1) provides that a person shall be entitled to legal representation free of charge as soon as practicable. o Delay may be authorised (at least superintendent) under s.58(8) if:
? Interference with or harm to evidence connected with the indictable offence; or
? The alerting of other persons suspected of having committed an indictable offence; or
? Hindrance to the recovery of the proceeds of an indictable offence. o Officer cannot dissuade legal advice being taken (Code C, Pa6.4).
? Acceptable to tell him how long lawyer will take to arrive (6ZA).

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