Police & Law

July / August 2016 Edition 20


for all

For the first time, law enforcement

officers can access PNLD for

free anytime, anywhere, on any

personal device, ensuring they

stay up-to-date with the law

Policy and practice news

Promotion exam Q&As

Case law and legal queries

Career opportunities

Updates on latest legislation


Illegal highs

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force on 26 May this

year and probably not before time, as the growth in the popularity of

‘legal highs’ has been staggering.

In 2013, according to the United

Nations’ World Drug Report, 670,000

British 15 to 24 year-olds had tried legal

highs at least once. In 2014, 114 deaths

were directly related to legal highs. The

new act is not without complications.

Latitude festival has banned these

drugs, supported by Waveney and

Suffolk Coastal District Councils who

have issued a Public Space Protection

Order (PSPO) banning the possession

and consumption of psychoactive

substances for the duration of the

festival. This is because, although the

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

prohibits the production, distribution,

supply, importation or exportation

of these drugs, it does not prohibit

possession. PNLD Legal Adviser Ian

Bridges takes a comprehensive look at

what offences are committed under the

new Act and the powers available to

deal with them [p8].

The challenge for any internet-based

company is how to get your message

across, and PNLD is no exception,

which is why the organisation has taken

the opportunity to film a short piece

on the benefits of PNLD, but also to

remind officers you can now access

all our services via your own personal

mobile devices. As PNLD Legal Adviser

Zoe McDonald explains in the film, the

aim of greater accessibility to up-todate

and accurate legal information is

to give you “reassurance at the touch

of a button” [p12].

It would be impossible to write an

editorial without referencing the historic

events of last month when the UK voted

to leave the European Union. However,

beyond acknowledging the result, it is

still too early to say with any certainty

what impact, if any, it will have on the

way the UK tackles crime. At least one

senior officer has called for clarity on

the future of EU-wide arrangements,

such as the European Arrest Warrant.

Others have vowed to work with the

Government to retain the ability to

share intelligence, biometrics and other

data. Whilst others have been more

pragmatic and believe that whatever

the outcome of Brexit, criminal justice

agencies across Europe will find a way

to continue to co-operate to secure the

safety of us all [p16].

Tina Orr Munro,

Editor, PNLD Police & Law Insight

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2 PNLD Police & Law Insight

July 2016 – in this edition:


Police & Law


• Extra patrols can slash CJS costs p4

• ‘Alarming’ inconsistencies in policing must be

addressed p5

• Call to overhaul prostitution laws p6

• Give officers powers to tackle smoking ban,

says Police Federation p6

• Rise in juvenile arrests for terrorism-related offences p7


Cover photo:

ITN Productions


Chestnut Media, on behalf of the

Police National Legal Database


Ploughland House

62 George Street

Wakefield WF1 1DL

Publishing consultants:

Nigel Hughes

Robin Green

Marnie Ratcliffe


Tina Orr Munro


Keith Potter

Marketing Manager:

Caroline Lecomber

Marketing Officer:

Ashley Firth


• Psychoactive substances p8

PNLD Legal Adviser Ian Bridges discusses legal

highs and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

brought in to deal with them.

• Access Granted p12

For the first time, law enforcement officers can

access PNLD anytime, anywhere and for free,

ensuring they stay up-to-date with the law.







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PNLD Police & Law Insight



Extra patrols can slash CJS costs

Increasing PCSO foot patrols by 20 minutes in crime hotspots could save the criminal justice

system £280,000 annually, according to a major study carried out in Peterborough.

Cambridgeshire PSCOs

patrolled 34 randomly chosen

crime hotspots for an extra 21

minutes a day, as part of a yearlong

experiment conducted by

the University of Cambridge’s

Institute of Criminology working

with the force.

Researchers compared offences

from 38 hot spots with no

increased patrol with the 34 areas

with an increased police presence

using the Cambridge Crime Harm

Index. The index measures ‘harm

caused to victims’ by modelling

severities in sentencing for

different offences rather than just

totting up crime figures.

The team calculated that

targeted patrol time equal to

two PSCOs would prevent 86

assaults a year or incidents of an

equivalent crime ‘harm value’. The

findings, published in the Journal

of Experimental Criminology,

suggest every £10 spent on the

Picture © Serge Bartasius Photography / Shutterstock

The Cambridgeshire research suggests a short increase in PCSO patrolling time at

crime hotspots could bring significant benefits

patrols prevents a further £56 in

prison costs.

Two extra officers prevented

crime amounting to 2,914

days, or around eight years of

imprisonment, at a potential cost

to the public of £280,000 under

English sentencing guidelines.

In addition, 39 per cent fewer

crime incidents and 20 per cent

fewer 999 emergency calls to the

police occurred in the 34 treated

hotspots compared with the 38

control hot spots.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s

Assistant Chief Constable Mark

Hopkins said the force would

explore how the findings could

help influence the force’s future

policing plan.

Cyber-flagging vital to combatting sex crimes against children

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is urging forces to ensure

all officers understand when to apply the cyber flag to sex crimes so they are recorded and

investigated effectively.

The call comes after the

charity revealed offenders

used the internet as a ‘gateway’

to commit 3,000 sex offences

against children.

Cyber-flagging was made

mandatory by the Home Office

in April 2015 to get a better

understanding of the extent of

online offences. This is the first

time police have been required to

record or ‘cyber flag’ any sexual

crime against a child that involves

the use of the internet.

Offences reported to 38 police

4 PNLD Police & Law Insight

Picture © Uber Images / Fotolia

The NSPCC says offenders have used

the internet as a ‘gateway’ to commit

3,000 sex offences against children

forces in England and Wales

included sexual assaults, grooming

victims before meeting them,

inciting children to take part in a

sex act and more than 100 rapes

during 2015/16. Most victims

were 13 year-olds (535), but there

were 272 victims under 10 and the

youngest was a one-year-old baby.

The numbers of offences that

were cyber-flagged widely varied

across the country but, on average,

eight crimes were reported every

day, said the NSPCC. Some forces

recorded hundreds of crimes while

others recorded fewer than 10. A

small number of forces either did

not know about cyber-flagging or

did not use it.

‘Alarming’ inconsistencies in policing must be addressed

The Home Affairs Committee has criticised the “alarming lack of consistency across forces” in

England and Wales, which are still failing to embed the College of Policing’s Code of Ethics.


It said that if policing is to

move on from controversies and

scandals such as Hillsborough

and undercover policing then

reassuring the public of the

integrity of those involved must be

the first priority.

The Committee said in its report,

College of Policing, three years

on, that the Code of Ethics should

be viewed by officers as having

the equivalent status of the

Hippocratic Oath. The regulations

should be consolidated and made

enforceable, under the control of

the College of Policing.

The Committee also supports the

Scottish model of training all new

recruits at the same place, by the

same people, with best practice

and national standards embedded

from the very beginning of a

police officer’s career.

‘Totally unacceptable’

The Committee branded the

Foreign Office’s refusal to provide

details of the College of Policing’s

contracts for providing assistance

and training to overseas regimes

as “totally unacceptable”.

Based on this, the Committee

questions whether the Overseas

Security and Justice Assistance

guidance is “fit for purpose”.

To ensure that there is proper

transparency and accountability,

the College must be open about

the nature of the international

work that it provides.

Overseas training

The College has been put under

pressure by the Home Office to

raise revenue, including through

providing overseas training. The

Committee supported its efforts,

adding the UK brand of policing

is respected internationally and

Senior police from China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman are among those to

have been trained at the UK’s College of Policing

should be disseminated as widely

as possible.

However, the Committee said

the provision of training on the

basis of opaque agreements,

sometimes with foreign

governments which have been

the subject of sustained criticism,

threatens the integrity of the very

brand of British policing that the

College is trying to promote and

“smacks of hypocrisy”.

College of Policing CEO,

Chief Constable Alex Marshall,

said: “We are looking at ways

to address inconsistencies,

including the establishment of a

system of accreditation for highrisk

areas of policing to ensure

the public get the same level of

service from police regardless of

where they live.

“We are committed to

transparency and are keen to

help the public understand our

international work as much as

possible. Details of the countries

we have provided assistance to,

the areas of policing covered, and

the amounts paid by all regions

are published on our website.

Our approach to releasing this

information was supported by the

Information Commissioner’s Office.

“We are working hard to

connect more with the frontline to

demonstrate what we are doing to

support officers and staff by using

the policing knowledge base,

our legal powers, our influence

and our ability to set educational

requirements to assist them.”

Committee recommendations


the College of Policing to take

an advisory role in procuring

specialist equipment

the College to be given legal

power to hold a register

of people who work in

policing and responsibility

for admitting and striking

people off that register

and, where appropriate, to

license individuals to work in

particularly high-risk aspects

of policing

the College to have power to

set regulations and standards,

which should be extended to

civilian staff

the College to increase

its ethnic minority

representation urgently.

PNLD Police & Law Insight

Picture © Plavevski / Shutterstock



Call to overhaul prostitution laws

Legislation governing soliciting and brothel-keeping should be overhauled, according to the

Home Affairs Committee.

Commenting following the

publication of its interim report,

the Committee said soliciting

should no longer be an offence

and sex workers should legally

be allowed to share premises,

although law enforcement should

retain the ability to prosecute

those who use brothels to control

or exploit sex workers. The Home

Office should also legislate to

delete previous convictions and

cautions for prostitution from the

record of sex workers, as these

make it harder for people to move

out of prostitution.

Keith Vaz MP, chair of the

Committee, said: “As a first

step, there has been universal

agreement that elements of the

present law are unsatisfactory.

“Treating soliciting as a criminal

offence is having an adverse effect,

it’s wrong that sex workers who

are predominately women should

be penalised and stigmatised in

the way. The current law means

sex workers can be too afraid

of prosecution to work together

at the same premises which can

compromise their safety.”

PNLD Police & Law Insight

Picture © Microgen / Fotolia

The new report says soliciting should no

longer be an offence

However, Mr Vaz stressed there

needed to be “zero tolerance” of

the organised criminal exploitation

of sex workers and changes to

legislation should not lessen the

Home Office’s ability to prosecute

those engaged in exploitation.

The Committee said it was

“dismayed” by the poor quality of

information which had hampered

its ability to make informed

decisions. It called on the Home

Office to commission an in-depth

research study on the extent of

prostitution in England and Wales

within the next 12 months.

The Committee now plans to

evaluate different models as the

inquiry continues, including the

sex-buyers law in Sweden, a fully

decriminalised model in Denmark

and the legalised model used in

German and the Netherlands

Key facts:

Around 11 per cent of British

men aged 16-74 have paid for

sex on at least one occasion.

There are an estimated 72,800

sex workers in the UK with

about 32,000 working in


Sex workers have an average

of 25 clients a week, paying an

average of £78.

In 2014-15, 456 sex workers

were prosecuted for loitering

and soliciting.

An estimated 152 sex workers

were murdered between

1990 and 2015. Just under

half (49 per cent) worried

about their safety.

Give officers powers to tackle smoking ban, says Police Federation

The Police Federation of England and Wales has responded to media reports that no-one has

been fined or summoned following the ban on smoking in cars in the presence of children.

On 1 October 2015, new

legislation was passed making

it illegal to smoke in a vehicle

carrying someone under 18, under

s95 of the Children and Families

Act 2014 which amended the

Health Act 2006.

However, a Freedom of

Information request by the BBC

has revealed that of the 39 forces

that responded only two have

issued warnings. There have been

no fines nor court summonses.

Tim Rogers, deputy roads

policing lead for the Police

Federation, said this was no

surprise as police have not been

given the power to enact the law.

He said: “The original plan was

for the public health authority to

change the law and give police

extended powers. This would

allow officers to stop motorists and

issue on the spot fines, like they

currently do for other offences.

“However, when the law was

changed, further legislation

needed to be passed in

conjunction with the Ministry of

Justice to give police the power to

issue these notices. Unfortunately,

that didn’t happen, which means a

piece of the jigsaw is missing.”

The relevant information can

be found on PNLD documents

D13183 and S990

Rise in juveniles arrested for terrorism-related offences

The under-18s were the only age group to record a rise in terror-related arrests, according to

latest figures from the Home Office.


A total of 14 young people were

arrested in the year ending 31

March 2016, a rise of six on the

previous year.

The number of females arrested

continued to rise with 36 females

arrested in the same period, the

highest number in any financial

year on record.

Overall, terrorism-related

arrests dropped by 15 per cent

in 2015/16 compared with the

previous 12 months. The Home

Office said the fall was driven by

reductions in arrests for domestic

terrorism and those that could

not be classified under a specific

terrorist category. Although a fall

on the previous year, the total

figure of 255 for 2015/16 is still

higher than most other recent

years, the Home Office added.

Picture © Peter Titmuss / Shutterstock

The number of under-18s arrested for

terrorism offences has risen, despite

the overall number of terrorism-related

arrests falling by 15 per cent

Of those arrested, 51 people

were taken to court for terrorism

offences in England and Wales in

the year ending 31 March 2016; 92

per cent (47) were convicted.

As of 31 March 2016, there

were 162 persons in custody

in Great Britain for terrorismrelated

offences and domestic

extremism, compared with 192

the previous year.

The Metropolitan Police Service

carried out 541 stop and searches

under section 43 of the Terrorism

Act (TACT) 2000, an increase

of nearly a third, year on year.

The number of resultant arrests

more than doubled, bringing

the arrest rate up to 12 per cent

compared to seven per cent for

the previous year.

The number of examinations

under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism

Act 2000 in Great Britain fell by 18

per cent to 26, 200 examinations.


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Psychoactive substances

PNLD Legal Adviser Ian Bridges discusses legal highs and the Psychoactive

Substances Act 2016 brought in to deal with them.

Psychoactive substances, also

known as ‘legal highs’, are an

emerging threat in the UK and

worldwide; they are mainly

produced in China and India and

usually sold and consumed as

either a powder, crystals, pills,

liquid, or smoking substance.

The popularity of legal highs has

increased dramatically in recent

years. In 2013, according to the

United Nations’ World Drug

Report, 670,000 British 15 to 24

year-olds had tried legal highs at

least once.

Although these substances are

not controlled by the Misuse

of Drugs Act 1971, they are

manufactured to mimic the effects

of illegal drugs such as heroin,

cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis, and

other hallucinogenics. When

a legal high was subject to a

temporary class drug order

under section 7A of the 1971 Act

(PNLD document D28808), the

manufacturers made a similar

substance by slightly altering its

chemical composition, so evading

the order.

With other concerns about

legal highs – including being

linked to an increasing number

of deaths in the UK (144 in 2014),

fuelling anti-social behaviour and

causing the proliferation of ‘head

shops’ (retail premises selling

legal highs and drug-related

paraphernalia) – the Government

decided these problems needed

to be addressed and enforcement

powers provided, resulting in the

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

being enacted.

Commander Simon Bray, the

National Police Chiefs’ Council

lead for psychoactive substances,

stated that Ireland introduced a

8 PNLD Police & Law Insight

Latest UN research shows that 670,000 British youngsters aged between 15 and 24

have tried legal highs at least once

similar law in 2010. While head

shops have closed down, there

have only been five prosecutions

due to the difficulty in proving to

a court that the substance was


There have been fears that the

UK legislation will encounter

the same difficulties, and that

the ban will drive use and sale

underground into the hands of

criminal gangs. This was the case

when magic mushrooms and M-cat

(mephedrone) were legislated

for. Critics have said that users,

who are often among the most

vulnerable in society, will turn to

street dealers, the dark web or

other illicit websites, and may use

bitcoins as currency, leading to

more drug-related deaths.

Psychoactive Substances

Act 2016

The legislation was due to

come into force in April, but was

delayed due to concerns from

police and academics that it would

be unenforceable; despite those

concerns the Act eventually came

into force on 26 May 2016.

The Intoxicating Substances

(Supply) Act 1985, which banned

the supply of solvent-based glues,

correction fluids/thinners, any

kind of aerosols, nitrous oxide and

other like substances to under

18s, is now repealed, as these are

psychoactive substances under the

new legislation. The Home Affairs

Select Committee’s report on legal

highs praised police forces for

Picture © Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

making innovative use of that Act

and the General (Product Safety)

Regulations 2005, to prosecute

suppliers of legal highs, forcing

them to pay costs, fines and

confiscation orders.

What is a psychoactive


Section 2 (PNLD document

D36881) provides that a

psychoactive substance means

any substance which is capable of

producing a psychoactive effect in

a person who consumes it, and is

not an exempted substance.

A substance produces a

psychoactive effect in a person if,

by stimulating or depressing the

person’s central nervous system,

it affects the person’s mental

functioning or emotional state.

Consuming a substance will

involve causing or allowing the

substance, or fumes given off

by the substance, to enter a

person’s body in any way. This

will include injecting, eating,

drinking, snorting, inhaling and

smoking the substance.

The main effect of psychoactive

substances is on a person’s brain,

the major part of the central

nervous system. By speeding

up or slowing down activity

on the central nervous system,

psychoactive substances cause an

alteration in the individual’s state

of consciousness by producing a

range of effects including, but not

limited to: hallucinations; changes

in alertness, perception of time

and space, mood or empathy with

others; and drowsiness.

It has been argued that the

language used to explain

‘produces a psychoactive effect’ is

ambiguous in an area where legal

Picture © Gayvoronskaya Yana / Shutterstock

The new Act covers the production of

psychoactive substances

success depends on precision.

There is a confusion of the

scientific (the chemical impact on

the brain) with the spiritual (the

emotional effect on the person).

For example, flowers, or the

smell of perfume can produce a

‘psychoactive effect’.

An example of the far-reaching

effect of this is highlighted

in Home Office guidance for

retailers. It provides that if a

retailer (garden centre) knows

that certain plants/seeds have

psychoactive properties then they

would be expected to ensure that

they are only sold for legitimate

use and not for consumption for

psychoactive effect!

What are exempted


‘Exempted substances’ are

listed in Schedule 1 (PNLD

document D36938) either because

they are already controlled

through existing legislation

(controlled drugs, medicinal

products, alcohol, nicotine and

tobacco products) or because

their psychoactive effect is

negligible (caffeine and food,

which includes drink – but

does not contain a prohibited

ingredient, such as a psychoactive


Offences under the Act

Sections 4 to 9 (PNLD

documents D36883–88) create

the offences in the Act, although

possession of a legal high is not

an offence, except in a ‘custodial

institution’ such as a prison, young

offender centre or removal centre

(this does not include mental

health secure units).

Section 4 – Produce a

psychoactive substance

– intentionally produces a

psychoactive substance,

knows or suspects that it is

such a substance, and intends

to consume the substance,

or knows, or is reckless that

the substance is likely to be

consumed by some other

person – for its psychoactive


Section 5 – Supplying

or offering to supply a

psychoactive substance –

intentionally supplies or offers

to supply a psychoactive

substance to another person,

knows or suspects (or ought

to), that it is such a substance,

and knows, or is reckless that

the substance is likely to be

consumed by that or another

person – for its psychoactive


Section 7 – Possession of a

psychoactive substance with

intent to supply – possession

of a psychoactive substance,

knows or suspects that it is

such a substance, and intends

PNLD Police & Law Insight




to supply the substance

for consumption, by that

or another person – for its

psychoactive effects.

Section 8 – Importing or

exporting a psychoactive

substance – intentionally

imports or exports a

psychoactive substance,

knows or suspects (or ought

to), that it is such a substance,

and intends to consume the

substance, or knows, or is

reckless that it is likely to be

consumed by some other

person – for its psychoactive


Section 9 – Possess a

psychoactive substance

in a custodial institution –

possession of a psychoactive

substance in a custodial

institution, knows or suspects

that it is such a substance,

and intends to consume

the substance – for its

psychoactive effects.

Exempted activity defence

– applies to all offences –

Section 11 provides that it

is not an offence if a person

does an exempted activity,

being an activity listed in

Schedule 2. These include

healthcare-related activities,

and doing approved research.

Powers for dealing with

prohibited activities

(prohibition/premises –


Section 12 defines the term

‘prohibited activity’, which

means the following activities:

producing, supplying or offering

to supply, importing or exporting

a psychoactive substance likely to

be consumed for its psychoactive

effects; assisting or encouraging

these prohibited activities.

Sections 13 to 35 (PNLD

documents D36891-913) provide

PNLD Police & Law Insight

four civil sanctions to deal with

prohibited activities: prohibition

notice, premises notice,

prohibition order and premises

order. These civil powers provide

the law enforcement agencies

(police, NCA, Border Force or local

authorities) with various routes to

tackle the prohibited activities.

In using these powers the law

enforcement officers will be able

to shut down head shops and

websites trading in legal highs, as

well as dealing with individuals.

It will be for the agencies to

decide what action is required,

depending on the circumstances.

Where there is evidence of a

criminal offence under sections

4 to 8, there may be no need

to apply the civil sanctions as a

criminal prosecution may be the

appropriate action to take.

Enforcement powers

Sections 36 to 54 (PNLD

documents D36914-32) provide

powers for law enforcement

agencies (police, NCA, customs)

to: stop and search persons

(section 36), vehicles, vessels

or aircraft (sections 37 and 38);

enter and search premises

(warrant only, not a dwelling)

(section 39); and seize, retain

and dispose of psychoactive

substances. Acting on these

powers will engage the relevant

provisions of PACE 1984 and

PACE Codes.

Section 48 states that a

person commits an offence if,

without reasonable excuse, they

intentionally obstruct a relevant

enforcement officer exercising

their powers in sections 36 to 45,

or fail to comply/prevent another

person from complying with a

requirement or direction given

by a relevant enforcement officer

exercising their powers in sections

37 to 45.

Sections 49 to 54 allow for

the retention of items seized

for as long as is necessary and,

in particular, either for use

as evidence at trial, enable

forensic examination, or for

investigating an offence under

the Act. Seized psychoactive

substances may be destroyed/

disposed of by officers or, in

certain circumstances, returned to

the person entitled to them. On

conviction, the sentencing court

must make a forfeiture order for

any psychoactive substances or

other items used with regard to

the offence.

Forensic Strategy

Home Office Circular 4/2016

(PNLD document D37350)

provides guidance in relation to

the Act, and acknowledges that

as the Act defines substances by

their psychoactive properties,

there is now a requirement for a

new forensic capability to assist

prosecutors in discharging the

evidential burden.

A Forensic Strategy set out in

Annex E of this circular sets out

guidance for forensic service

providers, law enforcement

agencies and expert witnesses

to support the operation of the

Act. It provides guidance on the

scientific principles for the new

testing regime and the process

and evidential considerations to

support criminal and civil sanctions

under the Act.

This Strategy has been

developed by the Home Office

with input from the Advisory

Council on the Misuse of Drugs. It

may be that this Strategy provides

the support needed in order to

deal with this problem – only time

will tell.

Bringing together victims’ services

Key Benefits

Help for Victims is a national website with local emphasis

Provides an independent online collection of victim and witness information

Offers impartial advice for victims and witnesses of crime, regardless of police involvement

Contains easy to understand Q&A’s that clearly explain the Victims’ Code and Witness


High quality care is available through direct self-referral to Victim Support

Personal choice to select from a collection of dedicated supportive organisations

• Option to purchase translated content in 5 other languages

• Option to purchase a managed service including an email answering facility

Baroness Helen Newlove, the Victims’

Commissioner for England and Wales

offered her support stating:

To see the website in action take

a look at our YouTube channel via

the image below

“It is only by having all the information that victims

can make meaningful decisions about what

happens to them, during their journey through the

criminal justice system and beyond. Hopefully this

website will enable victims to digest information in

their own time.”


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Access granted

For the first time, law enforcement officers can access PNLD anytime, anywhere and

for free, ensuring they stay up-to-date with the law.

Fast, accurate and easilyaccessible

guidance on criminal

law is critical in a world where

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new legislation are published

every year. It is impossible for

law enforcers to keep up with

the changes, which is why PNLD

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PNLD has always been at the

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do this as a result of investing in

a team of highly qualified Legal

Advisers who research new and

amended legislation daily, reacting

promptly to legislative changes.

In fact, PNLD’s legal database has

developed to become the trusted

and reliable tool of their trade.

“As criminal justice professionals,

we understand how vital it is

to apply the law appropriately,

knowing precisely what you can

do in pursuing an investigation but

“PNLD provides

that final element

of reassurance to

the officers.”

Nigel Hughes, Head of

Business, PNLD

“The database provides the accurate

information around legislation and also

around policy to ensure officers are acting

in accordance with both.”

Ch Supt Paul Money, West Yorkshire Police

“We’re accessible for officers

when line management isn’t

necessarily available. We are

that resource that is available at

the touch of a button.”

Zoe McDonald, PNLD Legal Adviser

Lights, camera, action!

In April, PNLD took the unprecedented step

of giving all officers and staff in the 43 forces

in England and Wales free, unlimited personal

access, as part of their force’s subscription.

To help spread the word, PNLD has created

a specially-commissioned film to ensure all

those working in law enforcement are aware

that they can access the PNLD’s services. The

programme was created by ITN’s bespoke

production hub in partnership with the Police

Federation, and is introduced by Natasha

Kaplinsky. It takes viewers through the benefits

of using PNLD. Members of the team give an

insight into their work and how officers and

staff can rely on the accuracy, efficiency and

reliability of their legal guidance, from “call out

to conviction”.

“The film was an opportunity to really push

the changes that have taken place,” says PNLD

Marketing Manager Caroline Lecomber. “PNLD

exists to support law enforcement officers and

we want as many people as possible to sign

up and use the service. It is about reassurance;

with PNLD you know you are getting the most

current advice there is from legally qualified

individuals who work within the criminal justice

system and understand the situations that the

police face on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately,

we want officers, staff and volunteers to be

able to rely upon PNLD content when online

anytime, anywhere.”

While many law enforcers continue to be

reassured by PNLD’s legal database, it is

important for people to know PNLD offers a

range of other benefits which are all part of

their force’s subscription. As the film explains,

in addition to the legal database, officers, staff

and volunteers can email the team directly with

their legal queries.

“This is an important part of the service,”

adds Caroline. “Law enforcement officers can

contact us directly with their legal queries and

we will email a response as soon as possible.”

“It’s not just

legislation. We

provide useful

explanations for

each piece of

legislation which

helps those not

legally qualified

to understand

what powers

derive from that


Andrew Holt, PNLD

Legal Adviser

“Having PNLD on mobile

devices means we don’t

have to return to the police

station to review or research

incidents or potential offences

that may have occurred.”

Sgt Patrick McDonald,

West Yorkshire Police




also, equally as important, what

you cannot do. PNLD provides

the essential support in making

those challenging decisions,”

says Caroline Lecomber, PNLD’s

Marketing Manager.

PNLD’s strength lies in its clear

explanations and guidance on

the law, all written in plain English

to ensure the information can be

readily understood and quickly

assimilated. Helpful guidance

notes and hyperlinks to useful

legal definitions aid ease of use.

So what does the legal database

actually contain? As well as Acts

of Parliament, Common Law,

Regulations, Orders and Byelaws,

the database also includes case

summaries, national standard

offence wordings and codes used

throughout the court system in

England and Wales – everything

law enforcers need to address the

most legally complex situations.

Officers will now have unlimited access

to PNLD services while out on patrol

PNLD knows how vital access to

information is, which is why the

organisation took the step in April

to give all officers and staff in the

43 forces in England and Wales

free, unlimited access on personal

devices, as part of their force’s

subscription. So far, over 3,000

have signed up to this offer.

“We’re pleased with the

numbers that have signed up

so far, but we would encourage

everyone to get on board so they

don’t miss out. By signing up, it

means the information is there

when and where you need it,”

adds Caroline.

There are clear benefits to this

service. Instead of returning to

the station to look up information,

officers can now access legal

guidance on the street, keeping

them out on patrol and providing

a visible presence.

You can enjoy free, unlimited

access to PNLD, as part of your

force subscription, by going to and clicking on

police access.

Fantastic news!

PNLD are giving free access to police

officers, staff and police volunteers

from any work or personal device

How do I sign up?

It’s as easy as 1-2-3

1. Visit and select

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2. Register using your

email address

3. Activate your access via verification

email within 24 hours

Benefits include easy access to a wealth of

current, up to date criminal legislation. Including

Acts and Regulations, Statutory Instruments, Case

law summaries, legal news, notable legal queries,

points to prove with helpful guidance notes that

explain and interpret the law.

PNLD’s legal team is always available to answer

customer emails to help clarify legislation.

14 PNLD Police & Law Insight

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Policy & Practice: Police leaders have their say on the

EU referendum

A number of senior police figures

have spoken out about the role of

policing following the result of last

month’s EU referendum.

In his blog, Chief Superintendent

Gavin Thomas, President of

the Police Superintendents’

Association of England and Wales,

said the absence of policing from

the EU debate must not mean that

it is not now a “critical subject for


Ch Supt Thomas said the result

had brought three aspects of

policing into “sharp focus”. Firstly,

officers should deal robustly

with hate crime following reports

that it has increased since the

referendum. Secondly, planned

reforms must not be derailed, and

finally the police service must have

clarity and certainty.

He said: “Many of the most

serious crimes do not recognise

borders, and tools such as the

European Arrest Warrant, the

passenger name records directive

and the ability to share information

around organised crime are just

a few examples of the types of

co-operation policing uses every

day to keep people safe.

“We need to know whether these

measures, developed by EU-wide

arrangements, will still be available

to us and if they’re not, what they

will be replaced with.”


National Crime Agency director

Lynne Owens said her organisation

would be working closely with

government to understand the

implications of exit for the NCA,

which works with partners in 150

countries tackling organised crime.

She said: “To tackle it effectively,

we must be able to co-operate

closely and share intelligence in

an agile way, and that requirement

16 PNLD Police & Law Insight

Picture © Malauke / Fotolia

The service must continue to focus

on the working relationship with law

enforcement across Europe despite the

Brexit vote

remains. If it cannot be met

through EU mechanisms we will

find others. For now, ongoing

operations against international

crime threats continue as before.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council

(NPCC) vice-chair, Assistant

Commissioner Martin Hewitt, said

the NPCC would work with the

government to ensure “we retain

our ability to share intelligence,

biometrics and other data… and

Policy & Practice: Figures on Disapproved

Register published

A total of 833 officers from

constable to chief superintendent

are now on the Disapproved

Register, which prevents them

re-entering the service if they

have been dismissed, resigned or

retired during a gross misconduct

investigation where there would

have been a case to answer.

The figures, released by the

College of Policing, show that out

of 369 officers on the register for

2014/5, 84 per cent were reported

by colleagues and 16 per cent

were investigations resulting from

complaints made by the public.

to work with foreign police forces

on linked investigations, enquiries

and arrests”.

Hate crime

There was a 42 per cent spike

in hate crime between 16 and 30

June, according to data collected

by the NPCC, which asked forces

for weekly returns following the

increase in reporting hate crime to

the True Vision website. Returns

show 3,076 hate crimes and

incidents were reported to police

forces in England, Wales and

Northern Ireland in the fortnight

after 16 June. This is an increase

of 915 reports compared with the

same period last year.

NPCC lead for hate crime, ACC

Mark Hamilton said: “We now

have a clear indication of the

increases in the reporting of hate

crime nationally and can see that

there has been a sharp rise in

recent weeks. Police forces across

the country have heightened their

response to hate crimes following

these reports.”

The numbers are for the

period from 1 December 2013

to 30 November 2015 and show

417 officers were dismissed,

366 resigned and 50 retired

while subject to gross

misconduct investigation.

The Disapproved Register

came into force on 1 December

2013. Since 1 May 2015 gross

misconduct hearings for police

officers have been held in

public, with forces publishing the

outcomes on their websites.

Policy & Practice: New guidance on responding to suicide

New police guidance to support

officers responding to suicide has

been published for consultation.

Written with the Samaritans,

British Transport Police and

Papyrus, which works to prevent

young suicide, it is the first

guidance to give officers advice

and knowledge to tackle suicides.

Areas covered include identifying

locations and places that are being

repeatedly used for suicide, the

first response to people who are

considering or threatening suicide,

potential suicide as a result of

online harassment bullying or

trolling, and suicide pacts.

There is a focus on welfare for

officers and staff who handle such

situations, including emotional

support via occupational health,

staff associations and outside


Mark Smith, Head of Suicide

Prevention and Mental Health

at British Transport Police, said:

“Protecting life is a key part of

policing and we are delighted

to have assisted the College

of Policing in producing this

guidance, which we hope will

assist officers across the UK in

tackling suicide and helping

people in crisis.”

The guidance will be out for

consultation until 17 August 2016

and is available on the College of

Policing website.

Policy & Practice: Call for accreditation for undercover officers

Officers will need official

accreditation before they can

work undercover, according to

proposals contained in draft

national guidance published by

the College of Policing.

Undercover recruits could also go

through a selection process as well

as vetting and specialist training.

The guidance sets out the

roles and responsibilities of

police officers, from those who

are deployed on operations to

those who supervise and manage

undercover officers and authorise

operations. It also describes

the scrutiny arrangements such

as the Office of Surveillance

Commissioners and the courts.

Welfare of those working

undercover is covered by the

guidance, which also recommends

a personality assessment by

a psychologist to understand

a candidate’s motivation and

suitability to the role.

The guidance identifies two

types of operatives – those who

carry out low-level infiltration, and

advanced operatives trained to

undertake deployments involving

higher-level infiltrations.

The guidance will undergo a

six-week consultation process, and

can be downloaded here.


Studying for police exams?

PNLD – the criminal law resource of choice for police

As part of the police force subscription, ALL Police Officers and staff can have unlimited access to the legal

database on their own personal devices – no longer having to pay for a subscription! Available to access on

any mobile or desktop device, PNLD’s responsive website makes it even easier for you to study away from

work, while travelling, or at any time to suit you.

Tap into a wealth of legal information that will help you to achieve your full potential. Our team of Legal

Advisers can answer all your criminal law questions. With our extensive number of Acts, Regulations, Case

Summaries and our easy to understand legal guidance notes – studying has never been easier.

Register for Police Access

PNLD Police & Law Insight



The following questions are taken from Blackstone’s Police Q&As 2015, the essential revision

tool for all police officers sitting the NPPF Step 2 Legal Exam (formerly OSPRE Part 1).

Evidence and Procedure: Detention and Treatment of Persons by

Police Officers: PACE Code C

Question 1

DEYLON has been arrested for an offence of murder

and arrives at the designated police station at 10 am.

Due to a queue, his detention was not authorised

until 10.30 am. At 10.40 am the officer in charge of

the investigation asks that the right to have someone

informed of the arrest is withheld and gives lawful

grounds for that request.

Question 2

By what time, assuming the maximum time allowed

is used, will this delay of rights end?

A: 10 am the following day

B: 10.30 am the following day.

C: 10 pm the following day.

D: 10.30 pm the following day.

FURNELL has been arrested for an offence of

supplying a Class B drug (cannabis resin). On arrest,

FURNELL was seen to swallow something that the

arresting officer strongly believes to be a package

of cannabis resin. On arrival at a designated police

station, the circumstances of the arrest are provided

and consideration is being given to having an X-ray

taken of FURNELL in relation to the suspicion that he

has swallowed the drugs.

Which of the following comments is correct in

respect of such a process?

A: X-rays cannot be taken of FURNELL as these are

only allowed when the person has swallowed a

Class A drug and was in possession of it with the

intention of supplying to another.

B: X-rays can be taken of FURNELL but this must

be authorised by an officer of the rank of

inspector or above.

C: X-rays cannot be taken of FURNELL unless the

custody officer authorises it and FURNELL

consents to the X-ray taking place.

D: X-rays can be taken of FURNELL and this

can take place using a portable device at a

police station.

Question 3

There is a duty to appoint custody officers to

designated police stations.

In relation to this which of the following is correct

A: The chief constable must appoint one custody

officer for each designated police station.

B: The chief constable must appoint one or

more custody officer for each designated

police station.

C: The deputy chief constable must appoint

one custody officer for each designated

police station.

D: The Deputy Chief Constable must appoint

one or more custody officer for each designated

police station

Questions and answers reproduced with permission from Blackstone’s –

18 PNLD Police & Law Insight

Answer 1 – C

Section 56 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act

1984 provides that a person arrested and held in

custody at a police station or other premises may,

on request, have one friend or relative or person

known to him/her or who is likely to take an interest

in his/her welfare, informed at public expense of his/

her whereabouts as soon as practicable (PACE Code

C, para. 5.1).

This right can only be delayed if the offence is

‘an indictable offence’ and an officer of the rank of

Answer 2 – A

X-rays and/or an ultra-sound scan can be carried

out if an officer of the rank of inspector or above

(making answer C incorrect) has reasonable grounds

for believing that the detained person may have

swallowed a Class A drug (not Class B – meaning

answer A is correct) and was in possession of that

inspector or above (whether or not connected to the

investigation) authorises the delay. The delay can

only be for a maximum of 36 hours, and this period

is calculated from the ‘relevant time’, that is the time

of arrival at the police station, i.e. 10 am. So the

maximum time is 36 hours, add that to 10 am and

that is 10 pm the following day—answer C, making

answers A, B and D incorrect.

Evidence and Procedure, paras 2.8.9, 2.8.20

Class A drug with the intention of supplying it to

another or to export, making answer B incorrect.

Answer D is further incorrect as the process cannot

take place at a police station.

Evidence and Procedure, para. 2.8.25


Answer 3 – B

The role of the custody officer is to act

independently of those conducting the

investigation, thereby ensuring the welfare and

rights of the detained person (this requirement is

contained in s. 36(5) of the 1984 Act). Section 36

requires that one or more custody officers must be

appointed for each designated police station.

However, in Vince v Chief Constable of Dorset

[1993] 1 WLR 415, it was held that a chief constable

was under a duty to appoint one custody officer

for each designated police station and had a

discretionary power to appoint more than one, but

this duty did not go so far as to require a sufficient

number to ensure that the functions of custody

officers were always performed by them.

Evidence and Procedure, para. 2.8.2

PNLD Police & Law Insight


JOBS in association with

The latest police and police staff vacancies across the UK

Deputy Chief Constable

Durham Constabulary


Durham Constabulary is looking for a

highly motivated and experienced

senior officer to join us as our new

Deputy Chief Constable, to assist the

Chief Constable and his Executive team in leading the

force to achieve its vision and maintain its values. She

or he will be recognised as both an innovative individual

and supportive team player who has made their mark

through effective change management on a significant

scale and in building public confidence and satisfaction

in policing at all levels.

Closing date: 29/07/2016

Solicitor (Inquests

& Inquiries)

Derbyshire Constabulary

£41,091 to £47,888

The postholder will work within the

East Midlands Police Legal Services

Unit providing legal advice and representation on a wide

range of issues affecting the forces. The postholder will

be expected at all times to work to uphold the values of

the forces.

Closing date: 22/07/2016

Legal Advisers



of interest)

Over the next six months PNLD will be seeking to

employ additional legal advisers to continue to develop

the content of our products and services.

Expressions of interest are therefore sought from

enthusiastic individuals who possess a degree in law,

a good knowledge and understanding of criminal law,

and recent experience within the police service of

England and Wales. The individuals must possess good

communication skills and be proficient in IT.

If you are interested, please contact

and further information will be supplied.



South East Regional

Organised Crime Unit

National Pay Scales apply

Applications are invited from substantive

Superintendents or substantive Chief Inspectors

for promotion to Superintendent rank in the role of

Detective Superintendent, Head of South East Serious

Organised Crime Unit (SE ROCU). Working to the

regional ACC SE ROCU&CTU, the post holder is the

regional lead for Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) and

the primary point of engagement for working with the

National Crime Agency.

Closing date: 05/08/2016

Force Engineer

West Midlands Police

£44,985 to £51,243

An exciting opportunity has arisen to

lead the Engineering Team within the

West Midlands Police Force. As an

Engineer within the Corporate Asset

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in developing the planned and reactive Maintenance

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relation to legislation, safety and quality of service.

Head of Analysis

and Research

Gloucestershire Constabulary

£41,091 to £43,041

Reporting to the Director of

Intelligence, the successful

candidate will be responsible

for ensuring that all tactical and

strategic requirements for research and analysis are

captured and acted upon. You will be required to

engage with all stakeholders ensuring that the analytical

provision is commensurate with force priorities.

Closing date: 26/07/2016 Closing date: 29/07/2016

For a complete list of current police and staff vacancies in England and Wales, visit

20 PNLD Police & Law Insight

Available to download on iOS and Android

This new concept, created by PNLD CIO with the support of the Cabinet Office

“Good Law” team and partially funded by the Home Office

Created in an effort to make law more accessible and simpler to understand

Combines the best of both of our existing services and

It provides the answers to over 200 road traffic related questions enhanced by

appropriate legal content and knowledge acquired by PNLD over the last 20 years

Answers supported by cases, legislation and details of penalties and points to

prove where offences are involved

Facility to email our Legal Team for more information if required

In simple terms this app answers everyday questions from basic

motoring issues to those of a more complex nature.

This app will be made available to police forces as part of their

subscription to PNLD’s legal database.

The app can also be purchased by individuals for use on iOS

and Android based smart devices for £2.29.


The Misuse of Drugs Act

1971 (Temporary Class Drug)

Order 2016, No 650

Already in force

Article 2 of this Order specifies

the substances and products

listed in the Schedule as drugs

subject to temporary control under

section 2A(1) of the Misuse of

Drugs Act 1971. The substances

specified in paragraph 1 of the

Schedule are Methylphenidate

related materials which are being

misused as new psychoactive

substances. Paragraphs 2 to 4 of

the Schedule specify derivatives

of the substances specified in

paragraph 1.

These substances and

products were made the subject

of temporary control by the Misuse

of Drugs Act 1971 (Temporary

Class Drug) (No.2) Order 2015.

That Order expires on the 26 June

2016 and this Order renews the

controls which the 2015 Order

had put in place.

Article 3 of this Order provides

that the Misuse of Drugs (Safe

Custody) Regulations 1973 and

the Misuse of Drugs (Safe

Custody) (Northern Ireland)

Regulations 1973 apply to those

substances and products, and

the Misuse of Drugs Regulations

2001 and the Misuse of Drugs

Regulations (Northern Ireland)

2002 apply to those substances

PNLD Criminal Law

Conference 2016

and products as if they were

specified in Schedule 1 to each of

the relevant Regulations.

In accordance with subsection

(6) of section 2A of the Misuse

of Drugs Act 1971, the specified

substances and products will cease

to be subject to temporary control

after the expiry of one year or,

if earlier, upon the coming into

force of an Order in Council under

section 2(2) of that Act listing the

specified substances and products

in Part 1, 2 or 3 of Schedule 2 to

that Act

The relevant documents on PNLD

have been updated.

22 PNLD Police & Law Insight

PNLD REF: C3338 R v Benson Aluko 2016

A jury were entitled to draw adverse inferences of guilt against an offender who gave a no

comment interview; he had failed to refute CCTV footage of himself.

Citation: Unreported

Court: Court of Appeal


V had been delivering pizzas on

an estate when he was robbed

by two men at knifepoint. One

of the men held the knife while

the other robbed V taking the

pizzas, his moped and his helmet.

B and two others were arrested,

one of whom (R) pleaded guilty

to being the man with the knife.

CCTV footage showed four men,

including R, walking together. B

could be seen with R both before

and after the robbery and he was

also seen removing the pizzas from

the moped.

The prosecution did not suggest

B to be the second man who had

conducted the robbery with R but

did suggest B had been involved

in a joint enterprise with R; his

presence with him both before

and after the robbery and his

removal of the pizzas could only

be explained by him forming part

of the gang. The prosecution

relied upon the CCTV footage and

B’s no comment interview.

At trial the judge ruled that

there was a case to answer for

B as his presence in the CCTV

footage could not be explained by

coincidence. B was subsequently

convicted of robbery.

B appealed against his conviction

submitting that the he was not

the first or the second man and

that there was nothing to connect

him with the robbery. He claimed

that the CCTV evidence was only

tenuous evidence that he had

been at the estate at the relevant

time. It did not prove that he had

formed part of the group, or that

anyone other than the first or

second man had conducted

the robbery.


Appeal dismissed. Conviction


B had chosen to give a nocomment

interview so there

had therefore been nothing to

refute the CCTV footage and the

inferences drawn from it. That

footage was strong evidence as B

had been seen with an admitted

robber immediately before and

after the robbery. If he had only

been see either before or after

there then a different outcome

could potentially have been

considered. In present case

however, the jury were reasonable

in drawing their inference and the

conviction was safe.


For more information on the legal issues concerning this case, please go to the PNLD website and search on

the following:

PNLD document D1907 – Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 – effect of accused’s failure to account

for presence

Your legal questions answered

Our team of highly qualified legal advisers

receive regular emails from customers

on pertinent points of law. See the latest

notable legal query for more information.

Remember – you can contact us

for clarity on criminal law

Customers can ask our legal team

a question by email.

We aim to answer all queries within

48 hours of receipt.

PNLD Police & Law Insight



PNLD REF: C3348 R v AXN; R v ZAR 2016

Case considering the obligation of the police to provide confirmation of assistance provided by

an offender for the purposes of a sentencing hearing.

Citation: [2016] EWCA Crim 590

Court: Court of Appeal


Two applications for leave to

appeal against sentence were

heard together so that the Court

of Appeal could determine three

issues that arose when the police

had been asked by an offender to

provide confirmation of assistance

provided by him to the authorities

at his sentencing hearing. The

issues were:

(i) the extent of the obligation of

the police to provide confirmation;

(ii) the course a court should take

in the event of a dispute between

the police and the offender about

the refusal by the police to provide

any confirmation or about the

information supplied by the police;


(iii) the circumstances in which a

court should grant an adjournment

if the request for assistance from

the police had been raised at a

late stage.

Issue (i) raised three situations in

its context, namely:

(a) where the police declined to


(b) where the police engaged,

saw the offender, but did no more;


(c) where, having engaged and

carried out intelligence checks and

made an assessment, the police

concluded the assistance was of

no value.

24 PNLD Police & Law Insight


The applications would be refused.

(1) In regard to issue (i)(a),

although the court would always

expect the police to inform

the court of the fact that the

police had made a decision not

to provide a confidential letter

(known as a ‘text’) as a matter of

case management, it was sufficient

if the police merely stated that

they would not provide any

information to the court in relation

to the offender’s assertions of

assistance. The police were not

required to give any explanation

of their reasons for the decision

(for example; where they declined

to engage or had engaged and

wished to take the matter no

further), or the stage at which

they had decided not to provide

any information. The police had

to do no more than say that the

police would not provide any

information to the court. Such

a statement to the court could

generally be provided by letter

and not by ‘text’. There might

unusually be circumstances where

the police would have to reveal

in the reply the assertions of the

offender that he had provided

assistance; in such a case it might

therefore be necessary to provide

the response in the form of a

‘text’. Whether it was provided

by letter or ‘text’, it had to be

signed by a senior officer of police

(normally a superintendent) or an

equivalent senior official in other

law enforcement agencies.

After engagement and inquiry,

the police might decide that the

information was of no value. In

such circumstances, it was again

a matter for the judgement of

the police as to the extent of

the information they wished to

provide to the court. On occasion,

they might wish to provide

confirmation to the court of the

provision of assistance but, with

their assessment, that it was of

no value. However, whether the

police did so should be left to

their judgement.

Accordingly, the same

considerations would also apply to

issues (i)(b) and (i)(c). It had to be

for the judgement of the police as

to the extent of the response they

would be able to give. In some

cases, they might only be able to

say that they would not provide

a ‘text’. In other cases they might

say that information had been

provided to them, but it was of

no value. Their judgement was a

judgement to be exercised in the

public interest and the interests

of justice; it was not for a court to

inquire further.

(2) In regard to issue (ii) it

was difficult to conceive of any

circumstances where permitting

the cross-examination of any

police officer who attended

court would be in the interests of

justice or in the public interest. It

was not the function of the court

when engaged in a sentencing

process to question the police

as to the accuracy of the ‘text’

supplied. If there was an issue,

that was a matter that could be

addressed through a complaint to

an investigative body who were

in a position, which a sentencing

court was not, to carry out what

was necessarily a confidential

investigation of the matters raised

by the complaint.

(3) In regard to issue (iii), it was

of the greatest importance for

an offender to ensure that the

sentencing court had before

it, in the form of a ‘text’, any

confirmation by the police of the

assistance which the offender

had provided and its value. An

offender should, therefore, make

clear his position at the earliest

opportunity. Accordingly, a court

should not readily contemplate

For more information on the legal issues concerning this case, please go to the PNLD website and search on

the following:

PNLD document D22131 – SOCPA 2005 – assistance by defendant – reduction in sentence

Log onto the PNLD website to view other recent cases:

R v Johnson 2016 (PNLD REF: C3347) – Case

considering whether a confiscation order was just,

where the value of a tainted gift had diminished

to nothing.

granting an adjournment, unless

the request to the police had

been made in a timely manner

and the delay had arisen because

the police had been unable to

provide the information, despite

every effort on their behalf. A

court should not ordinarily grant

an adjournment because a request

had been made late, as it was the

duty of the offender to make a

request immediately; his failure

to do so would result in the court

generally proceeding without any


In the circumstances, the

information provided by the

offenders to the authorities had

been of no value or low grade,

which had taken the police very

little further.

Rathband and another v Chief Constable of

Northumbria 2016 (PNLD REF: C3343) – Case

confirming principle of public policy that the police did

not owe a private law duty of care either to members of

the public or to police officers.


Your legal queries answered

Our highly accredited team of legal advisers offer a wealth of legal knowledge and professional

expertise. We receive, research and respond to many legal queries from our customers,

often complex in nature. Below is our response to a recent query.

Power of entry when acting under s18 of the Mental Health Act 1983

Question: Can you please confirm whether there is a power of entry under section 18 of the Mental Health

Act 1983, which provides a power to detain a person and take them back to where they are absent from?

Answer: Section 18 of the

Mental Health Act 1983 does not

in itself provide a power of entry.

However, there is a power of entry

under section 17(1)(d) of PACE for

those who are unlawfully at large

(which includes persons unlawfully

at large from a mental institution)

and for whom the police are in

‘immediate pursuit’. However, in

the case of R v D’Souza (1992)

the court ruled that the pursuit

had to be within a few seconds or

minutes of the entry (now known

as ‘immediate pursuit’). Officers

were not entitled to form an

intention to arrest and then go to

premises where the person might

be found. Otherwise, a warrant

under section 135(2) of the

Mental Health Act 1983 should be

applied for.

PNLD Police & Law Insight



Police & Law

is published by Chestnut Media, on behalf of PNLD

For more information, and to subscribe, please contact


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