Monday, 7 March 2011
The Power of Arrest in the UK
* under a warrant for arrest. This is signed by a Justice of the Peace (also known as a 'magistrate' - the terms are interrchangeable). For more detailed information from the UK Ministry of Justice press here.
* under s24 of PACE [Full Title - The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984] - PACE s24. Note this section was amended by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 ss. 110(1), 178; and S.I. 2005/3495, art. 2(1)(m) - the link above is to that version which is now in force.
s24 distinguishes between past, current and future events. The key safeguard is the "reasonable suspicion" that the arresting officer must have. You can debate how effective such a safeguard may be in different circumstances.
"Citizen's Arrests" are possible in the UK (which means, not only the ordinary citizen, but a non-police officer - such as a store detective). This is covered by s24A of PACE.