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Police Powers Notes

LPC Law Notes > Criminal Litigation Notes

This is an extract of our Police Powers document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Litigation Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students.

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Police Powers 1) Stop and Search Section 1 PACE and the Codes of Practice Section 1(2) PACE permits a constable to search any person or vehicle for stolen or prohibited articles/fireworks.

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NB: it doesn't cover drugs/firearms but does cover any offensive weapons/articles made for use in connections with the Theft Act or the Criminal Damage Act.

What is reasonable suspicion?
The power to stop and search under s.1 is subject to officer having 'reasonable grounds' for suspecting he will find stolen or prohibited articles.

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COP A 1.1 to 2.29 lay down the principles governing stop and search.

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NOTE: COP A 2.2-2.5: o

COP 2.2 - reasonable grounds for suspicion depend on the circumstances of each case: there must be an OBJECTIVE BASIS based on facts.It CANNOT be based on the basis of personal factors or on generalisations of certain groups of people.

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COP 2.3 - may arise from a person's behaviour (e.g. person on street at night trying to hide something)

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COP 2.4 - should normally be linked to intelligence/information - such as information describing an article being carried/a suspected offender...

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COP 2.5 - searches are more likely to be legitimate if they are based on a range of factors.

Steps to be taken prior to the search - COP A 3.8 Prior to the search the officer must give the following information:

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That the person has been detained for purpose of a search;

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The officer's name;

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The legal search power under which the search is being conducted;

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The purpose of the search;

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The grounds for reasonable suspicion;

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Their right to a copy of the search record

Steps to be taken after the search

* Make a record containing specified information (COP 4.3-4.10) of the search at the time

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Immediately give a copy to the person who was searched

NB: breaches of Code A could mean evidence found as a result of an unlawful search being excluded at trial - s.78 PACE Where should the search be conducted?
S.1(1) PACE only allows the exercise of stop and search powers in a public place or place to which the public have access.

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In a garden - only allowed if that person doesn't live there and is not there with occupier's consent - s.1(4) & s.1(9)

How should a search be conducted?

* COP A 3.1 - with courtesy, consideration, and respect for the person concerned. Take steps to minimise embarrassment

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COP A 3.2 - try to seek co-operation of the person in every case. Reasonable force used as a last resort if necessary to conduct the search

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COP A 3.3 - to length of time the person/vehicle may be detained must be reasonable and kept to a minimum

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COP A 3.4 - The search must be carried out at/near place person first detained

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COP A 3.5 - There is NO POWER to ask a person to remove any clothing in public OTHER THAN an outer coat, jacket or gloves

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COP A 3.6 - Where a more thorough search is required, it must be conducted out of public view.

2) Arrests

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