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For an arrest under Section 24 to be lawful, the arresting officer must believe that the arrest is necessary
- There must be reasonable grounds for believing the arrest is necessary
Minor deviations from the words of the caution are acceptable provided the sense of the caution is preserved?
Section 24 of the PACE ACT 1984 concerns arresting for indictable offences only?
Section 24 of PACE : 24(1)
- Section 24 of PACE and its accompanying Code of Practice provide the 'procedure prescribed by law' required by the HRA
- Section 24 states:
- 24(1) A constable may arrest without a warrant
- a) anyone who is about to commit an offence;
- b) anyone who is in the act of committing an offence;
- c) anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be about to commit an offence;
- d) anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an offence.
Section 24 of PACE : 24(2)
If a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed, he may arrest without a warrant anyone whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of it.
Section 24 of PACE : 24(3)
- If an offence has been committed, a constable may arrest without warrant
- a) anyone who is guilty of the offence
- b) anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it.
Section 24 of PACE (1), (2) and (3)
Section 24 of PACE (1), (2) and (3) depend upon the arrest actually being necessary. This is referred to in subsection (4)
24 (4) But the power of summary arrest conferred by subsection (1), (2) and (3) is exercisable only if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that for any of the reasons mentioned in subsection (5) it is necessary to arrest the person in question
Subsection (5) introduces the necessity criteria
Section 24 of PACE (1), (2) and (3) summary
- Arresting a person after a crime has been committed
- Arresting a person while a crime is being committed
- Arresting to intervene before a crime is committed
- DOUBLE SUSPICION
- Suspecting a crime has been committed and suspecting the person of committing it
Section 24 'Offence'
Offence means any statutory or common law which is tried in either Crown Court or Magistrates Court. Section 24 therefore applies to indictable and summary offences
Remember Breach of the Peace is not a criminal offence under English Law. it remains its own power of arrest so Section 24 of PACE does not apply
Subsections (1), (2) and (3) cover all of the circumstance which is may be necessary to arrest for an offence or suspected offence, but that is not enough on its own.
Necessity Criteria and other obligations
The basic requiremnt for making a lawful arrest are listed in PACE and explained in Code of Practice G
- Section 2 of the Code states:
- 2.1 A lawful arrest requires two elements
A person's involvement or suspected
involvement or attempted
involvement in the commission of a criminal offence; and reasonable grounds
that the person's arrest is necessary.
Both elements must be satisfied, and it can never be necessary to arrest a person unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect them of committing an offence.
There a re numerous necessity criteria listed in Section 24(5)of PACE
There are numerous necessity criteria listed in Section 24(5)of PACE and they are explained in Section 2 of Code G. At least one of the criteria is needed to justify an arrest.
It is for the arresting officer to decide which of the criteria apply and to be able to justify that decision. Obviously the rationale behind the decision must be recorded.
It is also a requirement that the arrested person is told why he or she has been arrested (even if it is obvious), and given the criteria for justifying the arrest.
'For a prompt and effective investigation' is not enough on its own and needs to be qualified with a specific reason.
Necessity criteria remebering in general terms:
PROTECTING, PREVENTING AND PRESERVING
If you believe there is a need to protect something happening, an arrest is likely to be justifiable
if you believe there is a need to prevent something happening, an arrest is likely to be justifiable
if you believe there is a need to preserve material or the integrity of the investifation, an arrest is likely to be justifiable
Other requirements imposed by Code G
There are some other important requirements in the Code to which officers must adhere.
Paragraph 2.3A emphasises the importance of objectivity when deciding to arrest a person ..
• There must be some reasonable, objective grounds for the suspicion, based on known facts and information which are relevant to the likelihood the offence has been committed and the person liable to arrest committed it
The Code also states that the decision to arrest is a matter of operational discretion for the individual officer.
Code G / Section 3
Section 3 of the Code concerns the use of the caution and the information which must be given to the arrested person.
3.3 A person who is arrested, or further arrested, must be informed
at the time if practicable, or if not, as soon as it becomes practicable thereafter, that they are under arrest and of the grounds and reasons for their arrest.
- 3.4 A person who is arrested, or further arrested, must be cautioned unless:
- a) it is impracticable to do so by reason of their condition or behaviour at the time;
- b) they have already been cautioned immediately prior to arrest.
Code G / Section 4
Section 4 of the Code concerns making records of arrests.
- 4.1 The arresting officer is required to record in his pocketbook or by other methods used for recording information:
- the nature and circumstances of the offence leading to the arrest;
- • the reason or reasons why arrest was necessary;
- the giving of the caution; and
- • anything said by the person at the time of arrest
The record should be made at the time of the arrest. If this is not possible, it must be made as soon as practicable afterrwards
Powers that allow arrests to be made without necessity criteria and without the person committing an offence
Code G is specific to the use of the Section 24 power of arrest, but there are other powers of arrest to consider.
Some powers allow arrests to be made without a necessity criterion and without the person committing an offence.
- Examples include:
- • Arresting for breaching bail conditions;• Returning child absconders to their place of residence;
- • Detaining a person under the Mental Health Act;
- • Returning a person unlawfully at large to prison; and
- • Arresting a driver after a positive breath sample.
Arresting in the context of the Human Rights Act 1998
There is a widespread misunderstanding about how Article 5 is affected when a police officer arrests a suspect.
It is wrong to state that an arrest breaches the Act. A breach means a break or infringement, and that would mean arresting and detention would be unlawful.
Arresting someone within the rules of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) is not a breach of that person's right to liberty and security.
It would be absurd if a police officer had to act unlawfully in order to bring an offender to justice.
Article 5 States
Article 5 states:
No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law ...
• 5.1 (c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so.