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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98804 Find in a Library
Title: Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
Editor(s): M D A Freeman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 246
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This commentary examines the provisions of the British Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984, a detailed and comprehensive code governing the nature and extent of police powers, issues relating to criminal evidence, and procedures for governing complaints against police and police disciplinary offenses.
Abstract: Under the Act, the police are given the power to stop and search any person or vehicle found in a public place for stolen or prohibited articles and to detain a person or vehicle for such a purpose. They also are given increased powers to set up road blocks and conduct road checks. On application from a constable, a justice of the peace has the power to issue a search warrant in cases where he is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing a serious arrestable offense has been committed and that material evidence is to be found. Seizure of evidence is permitted during warranted searches and those conducted with consent of the occupant. The basic principle for arrest without warrant is whether the offense carries a sentence of 5 years or more. Additionally, the Act adds some offenses that were not previously arrestable. Nonarrestable offenses carry a power of arrest when the constable has reasonable grounds to believe that a summons is inappropriate or impracticable or when there are grounds to believe the suspect might harm himself, others, or property. A duty is imposed on police to take an arrested person to the police station as soon as practicable. The conditions and procedures for detention, time limits, and the duties of the custody officer are outlined, as are searches of detained persons, fingerprinting, and the rights of detainees. Also covered are laws of evidence, admissibility of a spouse's evidence, and the establishment of a new Police Complaints Authority. Finally, the Act defines such concepts as serious arrestable offenses and reasonable force. In addition to a table of pertinent cases and an index, codes of practice for search and seizure are appended.
Index Term(s): Arrest procedures; Complaints against police; Discipline; Evidence collection; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Laws and Statutes; Police community relations; Police legal limitations; Police policies and procedures; Police responsibilities; Rules of evidence; Search and seizure
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