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Author Topic: Resisting Arrest  (Read 10552 times)
lyte86
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« on: March 03, 2005, 12:26:34 PM »

There's probably a blatantly obvious answer to this, but unfortunately I don't know it.

Is resisting arrest in itself an offence? (assuming the arrest is legal)

If so, what sort of penalties can be levied on a person for it?

cheers: )
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olliec
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2005, 12:40:51 PM »

I think one of the offences you mighe be looking for is:


Quote
Assault with Intent to resist Arrest

It is an offence to assault any person
with intent to resist arrest or
prevent the arrest of any person for any offence

Offences against the Person Act 1861 s. 38


I've never nicked anyone for this...no doubt someone on the forum can give us more of the specifics regarding this and what penalty it carries. It also covers people acting lawfully who are not police officers: store detectives, custody assistants etc.
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LongTail
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2005, 16:11:41 PM »

Assault with intent to resist arrest is an offence under s. 38 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

This is an offence of specific intent, i.e. assault with the intention of resisting arrest. This means the prosecution must prove the defendant's state of mind at the time of the offence.

Much easier to prove (and hence more widely charged) is resisting or wilfully obstructing a constable in the lawful execution of his duty, contrary so s. 89(2) of the Police Act 1996. This only carries a punishment of one months imprisonment or a Level 3 fine.
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IMARLOW
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2005, 17:00:53 PM »

Surely this is an offence wether or not the arrest is lawful?
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LongTail
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2005, 18:55:03 PM »

No, because you are allowed to resist an unlawful arrest. An unlawful arrest is, after all, an assault.
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lyte86
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2005, 18:57:09 PM »

ah cheers guys.  I don't know how often people are uncooperative but doesn't that mean that in a lot of circumstances you could tack on one of these charges in addition to the one for which the arrest was made?

how come this isn't done? I read the magistrates reports in the local paper quite often and I've never seen this even though I suppose it must happen all the time.  is someone resisting an arrest not as commong as I think? or is it just considered a waste of time to charge for that as well (too much paperwork?).  

"resisting or wilfully obstructing a constable in the lawful execution of his duty"

would that include running away? how about running away from a constable that was just trying to search you?

sorry for all the questions, just curious: )
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LongTail
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2005, 19:00:40 PM »

Quote from: "lyte86"
"resisting or wilfully obstructing a constable in the lawful execution of his duty"

would that include running away? how about running away from a constable that was just trying to search you?

sorry for all the questions, just curious: )


I've only charged resisting once in 5 years and that was after he struggled with me as I was arresting him...ended up rolling across car bonnets  :lol:

I have reported someone for obstruction after they made off from a stop search. The general definition is "anything that makes the execution of the constable's duties more difficult". Also covers such things as flashing your headlights to warn other drivers of speed traps.
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Pasty
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2005, 19:06:01 PM »

If someone I was in the process of arresting ran away I would say that it was obstructing me in my job!

If someone resisted arrest - I wouldn't necessarily nick em for that as well, it happens all the time and it’s something I’m expected to deal with – also if it’s used all the time in court it becomes less impactive – to this date I’, only dealing with 1 case of resisting or wilfully obstructing a constable in the lawful execution of his duty
And that’s added to a list of other offences a particular person is currently marked as “wanted”
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lyte86
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2005, 19:21:24 PM »

is obstructing a constable an arrestable offence? I suppose, looking at the penalties, that it's not.  but I don't know:/
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LongTail
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2005, 19:59:51 PM »

No, it's not. Although a lot of situations involving an obstruction will give rise to either s. 25 PACE or breach of the peace powers.
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Chief
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2005, 20:31:02 PM »

Following might be useful:

Section 38 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 creates the offence of 'assault with intent to resist arrest'. It states:
38 Whosoever shall assault any person with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of himself or of any other person for any offence shall be guilty of an offence .

Notes
The assault itself need only be as serious as a common assault (which could be considered as an alternative charge), but the intent to resist the lawful arrest, either of themselves or another person, must also be proved. If any wound or grievous bodily harm has been caused by the person committing this offence, then a more serious offence under section 18 should be considered.

Honest belief not a defence
It is not a defence to this offence for the suspect/other person to hold an honest belief that a mistake is being made by the officers as to whether or not an offence has been committed by the suspect (the arrest itself must still be lawful of course). This has been recently confirmed in the Court of Appeal case of R v Lee 2000 (for a more general overview of the principles of intent).


Guidance says that if it is on a Police Officer that Assault on Police would be a more appropriate charge.

Penalty:
SUMMARY: Six months imprisonment and / or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
INDICTMENT: Two years imprisonment.


Powers of Arrest:
If this offence is committed by the person initially being arrested, the power of arrest comes from this initial offence.

However, if the offender was resisting or preventing the arrest of someone else, then the power of arrest for breach of the peace should be considered and general arrest conditions may also be relevant.
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lyte86
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2005, 21:02:23 PM »

ahh cheers: )

is this from a text book/website, chief? (I could save time annoying you guys if I could find these things myself Smiley )
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Chief
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2005, 21:07:01 PM »

It's the Police National Legal Database.

It's accessible from work, I believe it is also available online but you have to register with the site through an official police email address.
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LongTail
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2005, 22:14:03 PM »

Go buy Blackstone's Police Manuals Lyte...they're the best quick(ish) reference I've found so far.
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MrCrustacean
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2005, 22:31:27 PM »

Quote from: "Chief"
It's the Police National Legal Database.

It's accessible from work, I believe it is also available online but you have to register with the site through an official police email address.


I can confirm you can get the PNLD on your home computer. The quickest way is to register using your police e-mail address via the ncalt site. Once you get a password you can then log in at home - very useful.

I've attached the link you need  
 
http://www.ncalt.com/

Crustacean.
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