Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Publication Date:January 01, 1984


Police and CriminalEvidence Act 1984

1984 CHAPTER 60

An Act to make further provision in relation to the powers and duties of the police, persons in police detention, criminal evidence, police discipline and complaints against the police; to provide for arrangements for obtaining the views of the community on policing and for a rank of deputy chief constable; to amend the law relating to the Police Federations and Police Forces and Police Cadets in Scotland; and for connected purposes.

[31st October 1984]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Powers to Stop and Search

Part I

Powers to Stop and Search

S-1 Power of constable to stop and search persons, vehicles etc.

1 Power of constable to stop and search persons, vehicles etc.

(1) A constable may exercise any power conferred by this section—

( a ) in any place to which at the time when he proposes to exercise the power the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission; or

( b ) in any other place to which people have ready access at the time when he proposes to exercise the power but which is not a dwelling

(2) Subject to subsection (3) to (5) below, a constable—

( a ) may search—

(i) any person or vehicle

(ii) anything which is in or on a vehicle

for stolen or prohibited articles; and

( b ) may detain a person or vehicle for the purpose of such a search

(3) This section does not give a constable power to search a person or vehicle or anything in or on a vehicle unless he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that he will find stolen or prohibited articles.

(4) If a person is in a garden or yard occupied with and used for the purposes of a dwelling or on other land so occupied and used, a constable may not search him in the exercise of the power conferred by this section unless the constable has reasonable grounds for believing—

( a ) that he does not reside in the dwelling; and

( b ) that he is not in the place in question with the express or implied permission of a person who resides in the dwelling.

(5) If a vehicle is in a garden or yard occupied with and used for the purposes of a dwelling or on other land so occupied and used, a constable may not search the vehicle or anything in or on it in the exercise of the power conferred by this section unless he has reasonable grounds for believing—

( a ) that the person in charge of the vehicle does not reside in the dwelling; and

( b ) that the vehicle is not in the place in question with the express or implied permission of a person who resides in the dwelling.

(6) If in the course of such a search a constable discovers an article which he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be a stolen or prohibited article, he may seize it.

(7) An article is prohibited for the purposes of this Part of this Act if it is—

( a ) an offensive weapon; or

( b ) an article—

(i) made or adapted for use in the course of or in connection with an offence to which this sub-paragraph applies; or

(ii) intended by the person having it with him for such use by him or by some other person.

(8) The offences to which subsection (7)( b )(i) above applies are—

( a ) burglary;

( b ) theft;

( c ) offences under section 12 of the Theft Act 1968 (taking motor vehicle or other conveyance without authority); and

( d ) offences under section 15 of that Act (obtaining property by deception).

(9) In this Part of this Act ‘offensive weapon’ means any article—

( a ) made or adapted for use for causing injury to persons; or

( b ) intended by the person having it with him for such use by him or by some other person.

S-2 Provisions relating to search under section 1 and other powers.

2 Provisions relating to search under section 1 and other powers.

(1) A constable who detains a person or vehicle in the exercise—

( a ) of the power conferred by section 1 above; or

( b ) of any other power—

(i) to search a person without first arresting him; or

(ii) to search a vehicle without making an arrest,

need not conduct a search if it appears to him subsequently—

(i) that no search is required; or

(ii) that a search is impracticable.

(2) If a constable contemplates a search, other than a search of an unattended vehicle, in the exercise—

( a ) of the power conferred by section 1 above; or

( b ) of any other power, except the power conferred by section 6 below and the power conferred by section 27(2) of the Aviation Security Act 1982—

(i) to search a person without first arresting him; or

(ii) to search a vehicle without making an arrest,

it shall be his duty, subject to subsection (4) below, to take reasonable steps before he commences the search to bring to the attention of the appropriate person—

(i) if the constable is not in uniform, documentary evidence that he is a constable; and

(ii) whether he is in uniform or not, the matters specified in subsection (3) below;

and the constable shall not commence the search until he has performed that duty.

(3) The matters referred to in subsection (2)(ii) above are—

( a ) the constable's name and the name of the police station to which he is attached;

( b ) the object of the proposed search;

( c ) the constable's grounds for proposing to make it; and

( d ) the effect of section 3(7) or (8) below, as may be appropriate.

(4) A constable need not bring the effect of section 3(7) or (8) below to the attention of the appropriate person if it appears to the constable that it will not be practicable to make the record in section 3(1) below.

(5) In this section ‘the appropriate person’ means—

( a ) if the constable proposes to search a person, that person; and

( b ) if he proposes to search a vehicle, or anything in or on a vehicle, the person in charge of the vehicle.

(6) On completing a search of an unattended vehicle or anything in or on such a vehicle in the exercise of any such power as is mentioned in subsection (2) above a constable shall leave a notice—

( a ) stating that he has searched it;

( b ) giving the name of the police station to which he is attached;

( c ) stating that an application for compensation for any damage caused by the search may be made to that police station; and

( d ) stating the effect of section 3(8) below.

(7) The constable shall leave the notice inside the vehicle unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so without damaging the vehicle.

(8) The time for which a person or vehicle may be detained for the purposes of such a search is such time as is reasonably required to permit a search to be carried out either at the place where the person or vehicle was first detained or nearby.

(9) Neither the power conferred by section 1 above nor any other power to detain and search a person without first arresting him or to detain and search a vehicle without making an arrest is to be construed—

( a ) as authorising a constable to require a person to remove any of his clothing in public other than an outer coat, jacket or gloves; or

( b ) as authorising a constable not in uniform to stop a vehicle.

(10) This section and section 1 above apply to vessels, aircraft and hovercraft as they apply to vehicles.

S-3 Duty to make records concerning searches.

3 Duty to make records concerning searches.

(1) Where a constable has carried out a search in the exercise of any such power as is mentioned in section 2(1) above, other than a search—

( a ) under section 6 below; or

( b ) under section 27(2) of the Aviation Security Act 1982

he shall make a record of it in writing unless it is not practicable to do so.

(2) If—

( a ) a constable is required by subsection (1) above to make a record of a search; but

( b ) it is not practicable to make the record on the spot,

he shall make it as soon as practicable after the completion of the search.

(3) The record of a search of a person shall include a note of his name, if the constable knows it, but a constable may not detain a person to find out his name.

(4) If a constable does not know the name of a person whom he has searched, the record of the search shall include a note otherwise describing that person.

(5) The record of a search of a vehicle shall include a note describing the vehicle.

(6) The record of a search of a person or a vehicle—

( a ) shall state—

(i) the object of the search;

(ii) the grounds for making it;

(iii) the date and time when it was made;

(iv) the place where it was made;

(v) whether anything, and if so what, was found;

(vi) whether any, and if so what, injury to a person or damage to property appears to the constable to have resulted from the search; and

( b ) shall identify the constable making it.

(7) If a constable who conducted a search of a person made a record of it, the person who was searched shall be entitled to a copy of the record if he asks for one before the end of the period specified in subsection (9) below.

(8) If—

( a ) the...

To continue reading

Request your trial