Presentation on theme: "Police Powers in Great Britain. Table of contents Police aims Historical development of the police force Main police powers Exercises."— Presentation transcript:
Police Powers in Great Britain
Table of contents Police aims Historical development of the police force Main police powers Exercises
Police aims “The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders, if crime is commited. To these ends all the efforts of the police must be directed. The protection of the life and property, the preservation of public tranquility, and the absence of crime will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been obtained.” Leonard H. Leigh
Historical development Until the early 1800s most crime was combated by local constables with the help of the occasional citizen patrol As cities became more crowded, individual companies organized police forces to protect their interests The Thames River Police was created by West India Trading Company in 1798
The Thames River Police 80 full-time men Patrolled the London port The private police force so effective that Parliament authorized money to add men to their patrol
Robert Peel Sir Robert Peel ( ), a Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from and again from Created the first professional police force in 1829 Peel sponsored the Metropolitan Police Act which was passed by Parliament
Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 For the first time in Britain’s history, the Act established an organized police force in London, with 17 divisions of 4 inspectors each, its central base at Scotland Yard, under the purview of the Home Secretary.
“Bobbies” The men on patrol became known as “peelers” or “bobbies” after R. Peel
Bobbies The first thousand of Peel’s police began to patrol the streets of London on September 29, 1829 Requirements: 6 ft tall and no history of wrong-doings
Blue tail-coats and top hats to look more like ordinary citizens
Peel’s vision The police force should operate from a centrally located headquarters accessible to the public Recruitment, selection and training Proper uniforms Weekly wage Familiar figures to the public Friendly image
London City Police, 1959
Main police powers Arrest Search Entry Seizure Detention
Arrest The police can arrest persons suspected of having committed an offence with or without a warrant issued by a court For serious offences (“arrestable offences”) a suspect can be arrested without a warrant General arrest power (to prevent injury or damage)
Search The official examining of a person or a place A police officer has the power to stop and search people and vehicles if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that stolen goods or weapons will be found The officer must state and record the grounds for taking this action Regulated by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 An unlawful search constitutes assault
Entry The right of the police to enter private property to find the wrongdoer The police can enter premises to make an arrest and search them to find their suspect Unlawful entry constitutes the tort of trespass
Seizure The instance of taking possession of somebody’s property by the authority When a lawful arrest is made, the police can seize articles and documents that could be used in evidence against the suspect The police can take any weapon or article that the suspect could use to harm himself or others
Detention An arrested person must be taken to a police station The suspect has a right to speak to an independent solicitor free of charge A suspect may refuse to answer police questions (”the right to silence”) according to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 For lesser offences, a suspect can be held in police custody for 24 hours For serious offences up to 96 hours without charge
Importance of the law related to police powers Important from the political standpoint (police interference with the freedom of the individual) Important from the legal standpoint (issues of civil and criminal liability depend on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of the use of these powers)
Complete the definitions: _______ is the right of the police to enter private property in order to find the wrongdoer. _______ is the act of taking hold of a wrongdoer by the authority of the law. ________ is the instance of taking possession of somebody’s property by the authority. ________ is the official examining of a person or a place for stolen property or other important details.
Answer key ENTRY is the right of the police to enter private property in order to find the wrongdoer. ARREST is the act of taking hold of a wrongdoer by the authority of the law. SEIZURE is the instance of taking possession of somebody’s property by the authority. SEARCH is the official examining of a person or a place for stolen property or other important details.
Conditional clauses If the custody officer decides that there is insufficient evidence ___________ (charge) the suspect, the suspect must be released. If the custody officer has reasonable grounds for ___________ (believe) that detention without charge is necessary ___________ (secure) or _____________ (preserve) evidence relating to an offence for which the suspect is under arrest, or to obtain such evidence by ______________ (question) the suspect, he or she may order further police detention. The grounds for the detention _____________ (must, record) in writing on the custody record.
Answer key If the custody officer decides that there is insufficient evidence to charge the suspect, the suspect must be released. If the custody officer has reasonable grounds for believing that detention without charge is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which the suspect is under arrest, or to obtain such evidence by questioning the suspect, he or she may order further police detention. The grounds for the detention must be recorded in writing on the custody record.
Complete the following statements about arrest: A person is guilty of the crime and tort of assault if __________________. If the arrested person escapes from custody, he __________________. If the arrest is unlawful, the policeman ___________________. The policeman will be guilty of assault if __________________.
Answer key A person is guilty of the crime and tort of assault if he uses force to resist. If the arrested person escapes from custody, he will be guilty of an offence. If the arrest is unlawful, the policeman will be guilty of the tort and crime of false imprisonment. The policeman will be guilty of assault if he uses force to effect the arrest.
Translate the following: An unlawful search constitutes assault, and the person searched is entitled to use reasonable force to resist. If, on the other hand, the search is lawful, the position is reversed: the policeman is entitled to use reasonable force, and resistance is assault.