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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 89815 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Police Discipline for Breaches of the Rules of Evidence
Author(s): J M Albon
Corporate Author: Bramshill Police College
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Bramshill Police College
Hampshire, England
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: In England, the rules of admissibility of evidence should be relaxed in exchange for stricter measures of control on the police, notably vigorous enforcement of the exclusionary rule.
Abstract: In 1978, the Phillips Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure did not come out in favor of an exclusionary rule, and there were no recommendations for any significant relaxation of the current rules of evidence admissibility; indeed, the report emphasizes the need for physical controls on the existing system. The Commission recommended that the duty to ensure that the rules of evidence are obeyed should rest with the police service itself. The Commission has failed to get to the root of the problem, which is the existence of substantive laws of evidence that unduly obstruct police investigations. Opponents of the exclusionary rule argue that police misconduct should be deterred by some other means than excluding the use of evidence obtained through misconduct, which may mean the acquittal of a 'guilty' defendant. Other means recommended are police service disciplining of any officer involved in the improper securing of evidence and criminal or civil action against such officers. Such proposals for deterring and punishing police misconduct are not likely to be effective. The problem lies with the existence of substantive rules of evidence that are not fair to the police in the performance of their expected duties. The principal task should be to devise procedures for criminal investigation that achieve an acceptable balance between the use of police powers to solve crimes and the protection of citizens from undue police interference in their privacy. Once an acceptable framework of rules for criminal investigations is determined, then it should be enforced by the exclusionary rule, because it effectively removes any incentive for the police to violate rules determined to be appropriate for criminal investigations. Thirty-three footnotes and 25 bibliographic entries are provided.
Index Term(s): England; Exclusionary rule; Police legal limitations; Rules of evidence
Note: Police Staff College Sixth Junior Command Course, 1982.
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