Criminal Evidence Act 1984
and regulations in Codes of Practice cover stop and search; entry to premises; detention and questioning; identification and tape recording of interviews.
Cannot be stopped by police officer unless there is an intention to arrest. Citizens have no duty to answer questions. Rice v Connoly 1966 QB: cannot arrest for refusal to answer questions and no legal duty to accompany police officers.
Police may attract a person’s attention
1. in order to question, including touching (Donnelly) but may not transcend the norms of acceptable behavior. Collins: may not grab arm to prevent person from leaving. Reasonable suspicion for stop and search set out in Act and codes.
Stolen or prohibited articles:
2. may search for 2 main categories of articles: ‘offensive weapons’ and various articles prohibited under Theft Act 1968. The Act defines offensive weapons as those which may cause injury: Harris v DPP, Fehmi v DPP 1993 All ER.
To search for such articles
a policeman must have reasonable grounds for suspecting a possession. The power may be exercised in public places: March v Arscott 1982 Cr App Rep. Drugs: Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: same power. Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol) Act 1985: an offense to have alcohol in certain public places. Can search en route to sporting events. Road Stops: Road Traffic Act 1988: police can stop. R v Waterfield 1963 All ER: driver has duty to stop and to keep vehicle stopped; but police can only detain vehicle on reasonable grounds: R v Brown Cr App Rep: breath test requirement.
S28 of Act
= mere statement. But Genner v Sparks 1706 Mod Rep: physical contact needed; Russen v Lucas 1824 C&P statement that suspect is under arrest is sufficient if suspect acquiesces. Must be informed (Brosch, Ilford). Reasons for arrest. DPP v Hawkins 1988 Cr App: suspect violently resisting arrest does not have to be told until it is practical to do so.
Common law power to arrest:
only for breach of the peace: R v Howell 1982 QB supplies definition: harm is done is likely to be done. R v Chief Constable of the Devon 1982 QB: unlawfully and physically prevented from carrying out work.
Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989:
additional powers to arrest those ‘concerned in the commission, preparation or investigation of acts of terrorism. ‘Concerned in’ broadly interpreted. Emergency provision: Murray v Ministry of Defense 1988 All ER: false imprisonment, arrest without warrant; under restraint before formal arrest
Detention and questioning.
arrested must be taken to station immediately. Log must be opened. Entitled to a copy of the custody record and inspect the original. Information given at detention: Rights-to inform someone of arrest; right to counsel; and right to consult codes of practice. Can be exercised at any time. Written notice of rights must be provided to detainee. Detainee must sign custody record to make sure that he has received notice and understands rights. Stone 3.2.2.
Search of detainees:
included in custody record is inventory of everything found in possession. May only seize clothes and personal effects if has reasonable concern that detainee will harm himself or others.
period of time of detention depends on the crime; time runs when arrested person arrives at the station. R v Kerawalla 1991 Crim LR. Must be charged or released within 24 hrs of arrest. May be rearrested on a different charge, but police must act in good faith. 24 hr period may be extended for ‘serious arrest able offences’ (murder, treason..) up to 96 hrs.
Conditions in detention:
right to advise someone of arrest and place of detention. Delay permissible only under terrorism provisions or for serious arrest able offence. Right to legal advice: only arises when taken into custody at station or elsewhere: R v Kerawalla 1991 Crim LR (does not include questioning in hotel room). Delay in one circumstance is not necessarily justifiable in others: R v Parris, R v Samuel 1988.
Right of silence:
must be advised before questioning. Presumption of innocence (Woolmington). Cannot be compelled to make self-incriminating statements: Smith v Director of the Serious Frauds Office 1992 All ER: exception for the investigation of serious frauds. Rule does not apply in undercover operations: R v Christou 1992 WLR: videotape. Provisions designed to protect detainees who perceive police to be in a position of power. R v Bryce 1992 Cr App: conversation with undercover officer should not have been admitted.
| Return to Topic Menu | Return to Main Menu |