PACE Codes of Practice - The New Code G

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This is resultant amalgamation of S24 and S25 of PACE 1984 as amended by S110 SOCA 2005. When operational it will become Code G in the Codes of Practice. Apparently it will apply to any arrest made by a police officer after midnight on 31 December 2005 (Lets hope we get the training before it comes in rather than after!)

Elements of Arrest under section 24 PACE

A lawful arrest requires two elements:  

1) A person’s involvement or suspected involvement or attempted involvement in the commission of a criminal offence;


2) Reasonable grounds for believing that the person’s arrest is necessary.

Arresting officers are required to inform the person arrested that they have been arrested, even if this fact is obvious, and of the relevant circumstances of the arrest in relation to both elements and to inform the custody officer of these on arrival at the police station. See Code C paragraph 3.4.

'Involvement in the commission of an offence'

A constable may arrest without warrant in relation to any offence, except for the single exception listed in Note for Guidance 1. A constable may arrest anyone:

• who is about to commit an offence or is in the act of committing an offence
• whom the officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting is about to commit an offence or to be committing an offence
• whom the officer has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of an offence which he or she has reasonable grounds for suspecting has been committed
• anyone who is guilty of an offence which has been commited or anyone whom the officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of that offence.

Necessity criteria

The power of arrest is only exercisable if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to arrest the person.  The criteria for what may constitute necessity are shown below.  It remains an operational decision at the discretion of the arresting officer as to:

• what action he or she may take at the point of contact with the individual;
• the necessity criterion or criteria (if any) which applies to the individual; and
• whether to arrest, report for summons, grant street bail, issue a fixed penalty notice or take any other action that is open to the officer.

In applying the criteria, the arresting officer has to be satisfied that at least one of the reasons supporting the need for arrest is satisfied.  

Extending the power of arrest to all offences provides a constable with the ability to use that power to deal with any situation.  However applying the necessity criteria requires the constable to examine and justify the reason or reasons why a person needs to be taken to a police station for the custody officer to decide whether the person should be placed in police detention.  

The criteria below are set out in section 24 of PACE as substituted by section 110 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.  The criteria are exhaustive.  However, the circumstances that may satisfy those criteria remain a matter for the operational discretion of individual officers.  Some examples are given below of what those circumstances may be.  

In considering the individual circumstances, the constable must take into account the situation of the victim, the nature of the offence, the circumstances of the offender and the needs of the investigative process.

The criteria are that the arrest is necessary:

(a) to enable the name of the person in question to be ascertained (in the case where the constable does not know, and cannot readily ascertain, the person’s name, or has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person as his name is his real name)

(b) correspondingly as regards the person’s address:

an address is a satisfactory address for service of summons if the person will be at it for a sufficiently long period for it to be possible to serve him or her with a summons; or, that some other person at that address specified by the person will accept service of the summons on their behalf.

(c) to prevent the person in question:

(i) causing physical injury to himself or any other person;
(ii) suffering physical injury ;
(iii) causing loss or damage to property;
(iv) committing an offence against public decency (only applies where members of the public going about their normal business cannot reasonably be expected to avoid the person in question); or
(v) causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway;

(d) to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in question

(e) to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question.  

This may include cases such as:

(i) Where there are grounds to believe that the person:
• has made false statements;
• has made statements which cannot be readily verified;
• has presented false evidence;
• may steal or destroy evidence;
• may make contact with co-suspects or conspirators;
• may intimidate or threaten or make contact with witnesses; or

(ii) when considering arrest in connection with an indictable offence, there is an operational need to:

• enter and search any premises occupied or controlled by a person
• search the person
• prevent contact with others
• take fingerprints, footwear impressions, samples or photographs of the suspect

(iii) ensuring compliance with statutory drug testing requirements.

(f) to prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the disappearance of the person in question.

This may arise if there are reasonable grounds for believing that

• if the person is not arrested he or she will fail to attend court
• street bail after arrest would be sufficient to deter the suspect from trying to evade prosecution.

Notes for guidance

1 The offences of assisting offenders under section 4(1) and concealing offences under section 5(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 carry the power of arrest.  However, these offences relate only to assisting or concealing offences for which (a) the sentence is fixed by law, or (b) a first time offender aged 18 or over could be sentenced to five years imprisonment.

2 There must be some reasonable, objective grounds for the suspicion, based on known facts or information which are relevant to the likelihood the offence has been committed and the person to be questioned committed it.

3 An arrested person must be given sufficient information to enable them to understand they have been deprived of their liberty and the reason they have been arrested, e.g. when a person is arrested on suspicion of committing an offence they must be informed of the suspected offence’s nature, when and where it was committed. The suspect must also be informed of the reason or reasons why arrest is considered necessary.  Vague or technical language should be avoided.

4 Nothing in this Code requires a caution to be given or repeated when informing a person not under arrest they may be prosecuted for an offence. However, a court will not be able to draw any inferences under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, section 34, if the person was not cautioned.

5 If it appears a person does not understand the caution, the people giving it should explain it in their own words.

6 The powers available to an officer as the result of an arrest – for example, entry and search of premises, holding a person incommunicado, setting up road blocks – are only available in respect of indictable offences and are subject to the specific requirements on authorisation as set out in the 1984 Act and relevant PACE Code of Practice.

23 People have viewed this subject as of 2330 hrs 09/09/2005. Does anyone have any views on it....?

Initially I thought that it might be a barrier to people arresting, particulary some of our more workshy colleagues. But the more I think about it wew could end up with some fairly interesting arrests coming through the doors. I also don't think that it will stop people being arrested for the serious offences. Can't imagine anyone street bailing a burglar  8O

Isn't this just going to result in more people being arrested for petty offences? Common assaults - especially domestics - and so on.

Having read all of that, I can't see anything about arresting someone for the purpose of interviewing them...

Perhaps I just need the training that I will doubtless get sometime in late 2006....

As far as I'm aware its not currently in force yet at least we haven't been told, looks like it could be fun though:-


(e) to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question.

Basically makes every offence arrestable str8 away, always good to know the option is there and good to use on PPO's I reckon

To be honest I doubt this will have a negative effect on arrest rates, even those who tend to shy away from work.

We could always report or streetbail for any arrestable offence under the current way if circumstances allowd us to.  This change will just give us the option to arrest for any offence if we feel necessary.


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