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Custody sergeants in legal dilemma over lack of hospital beds
Fedster + posted a topic in Police Oracle FeaturesThousands of mental health patients are being detained beyond the legal period. Forces are making decisions to hold people with mental health issues in custody beyond the statutory maximum due to difficulties accessing hospital beds. As a result custody sergeants are stuck with a difficult legal dilemma. Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act they are obligated to release suspects once decisions are taken about the alleged offence or after 24 hours in custody, but they cannot continue to detain someone who is unwell unless an approved mental health professional has completed a legal application under the Mental Health Act. Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter, who recently witnessed a detained mental health patient being held in police officer’s rest area due to a lack of hospital places, told Police Oracle: “This crisis have been going on for a number of years, only in recent times the government is taking notice. “We are working more closely with social services and the NHS on the deeper issue. “People are being detained under the Mental Health Act and they are sitting in station restrooms whilst waiting for hours and hours. Time and time again I hear around the county there are no beds available, usually out of office hours.” Mr Apter added there needs to be a clearer direction in law and there must be consequences if failure to deliver as they are "just covering and papering over the cracks.” “Agencies need to take a long hard look because officers are having to take up the slack and have to pick up the pieces,” he added. “This is a real serious issue and it just can’t go on.” A College of Policing review of 21 police forces found 264 cases involved the police feeling obliged to keep someone safe by holding them in custody beyond the period allowed by custody law because of delays in finding a hospital bed. But this is likely to be a fraction of the real picture. NPCC lead for mental health, Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “Police officers have a duty to ensure that anyone brought into custody facing a mental health crisis is directed to a medical professional as soon as possible – it is a real concern that this is not happening quickly enough in potentially thousands of cases and each case potentially represents a violation of that person’s fundamental human rights. “This is a legal problem that is emerging more frequently across the country so we want to work closely with the statutory regulator the Care Quality Commission to collect more accurate data and secure timely admission for people when they need it most.” View On Police Oracle
Dearresting after citizens arrest
Removed User 16-12-21 posted a topic in England & WalesCan you dearrest someone who has been arrested by an MOP using the following powers? 1) Power to arrest to prevent a breach of the peace (common law) 2) Power to arrest on suspicion of an indictable offence (section 24A PACE)
The right to silence
JulietAlpha1 + posted a topic in General Policing DiscussionsI've been considering ways in which British policing is inefficient and could be improved. It has been driven by the Home Sec as part of her reform agenda, and while forces have made cutbacks and savings and moved the pieces to try and ride out the storm, it seems to me that the real inhibitor of useful reform (reform that benefits people in the system and using the system) are our procedures governed law, not internal policies. Also the prehistoric technology and difficulty of information sharing - which some forces are attempting to rectify. When I arrest people, it always amazes me how long it takes to deal with a prisoner. Not just the handover (if you're lucky) but the whole process from start to finish. Booking in, interviewing, statements, crime report, case papers, CPS memos... It makes me wonder where time can be saved. When I arrest suspects, my reasoning always involves something about interviewing, as well as sometimes preventing disappearance as they seem to be the catch-alls to get people past the custody sergeant. In full, the act of interviewing is intended to obtain evidence and it is used to close down defences. At the heart of this, is the 'right to silence' and allowing courts to draw an adverse inference if a defendant bases their defence on something that they were interviewed about and failed to answer. My thought for the discussion is - if the 'right to silence' was made absolute, and an inference couldn't be drawn, there would be no need to interview, saving police countless hours of time and manpower. To what extent would this affect: a) the length of police investigations b) the quality of police investigations c) the effect this would have in court (early guilty pleas and trials) - how often are adverse inferences actually drawn and how often does that have a bearing on a case? d) the rights of the suspect / defendant My personal view, is that a lot of the time we interview as a tick box exercise. If we have no evidence to put to the subject other than a victim statement (sometimes not even that), and the suspect denies everything or goes 'no comment.' We've got one word against another which the CPS are never going to run with. How often do we get unexpected confessions or admissions? I know I never have. It seems like a massive waste of time to me. I cannot see how this would negatively affect the defendant. If there was sufficient evidence they could still opt for the early guilty plea and they've not lost 20 minutes of their life saying 'no comment' over and over again. I have no idea how many inferences are drawn in the court room which is why I wanted to get a broader opinion on this. These are only my opinions, I've not got any studies to back them up, and my experiences are the result of my time as a borough safer neighbourhoods Bobby, so I have no idea how this might affect murder investigations etc. Sorry for the long post. Thoughts?
DB11 + posted a topic in General Policing DiscussionsI was having a look through my student officer book and had a read of the taking samples from people section, particularly s63 PACE non-intimate samples. In the student officer manual it notes that, for sexual offences and murder, intimate and non-intimate samples must be taken by a police surgeon or other registered medical practitioner. I can't find any reference to this in PACE is anyone able to shed some light on it? I've known non-intimate samples be taken by police officers from suspects arrested for rape a number of times.
Powers To DETAIN
maccalen999 + posted a topic in England & WalesI've been revising stop/search powers etc, but I can't seem to find specific information on Powers To Detain....for example... I attend a shop following reports of a person acting irate, as I arrive the suspect is then leaving the store & I stop him. I need him to stay with me to ascertain if any offences have been committed, but what power do I have to do so? Thanks in advance.
Reading PACE / Codes of Practice
DB11 + posted a topic in General Policing DiscussionsCan anyone explain to me the difference in reading PACE through the legislation.gov.uk site and the Codes of Practice on gov.uk ? I'll keep it basic in my example... section 24 powers of arrest on the full legislation website http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/60/part/III it is quite clearly section 24 because it says that next to it. However from the Code G codes of practice site https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/117583/pace-code-g-2012.pdf it is under heading 2 (although the title of the heading states Section 24 PACE) What's the difference between the two documents? If you want to look something up should I be using the codes of practice document or the legal document?
S18 PACE - Powers of entry HELP!
danswans + posted a topic in General Policing DiscussionsSo I have my last exam end of October and included is powers of entry. I'm a little stuck on S18 (5) and the part which says a constable may enter and search and premises occupied or controlled by a person under arrest for an indictable offence with reasonable grounds to suspect there is evidence on the property relating to that offence. S18 (5) states the property can be searched prior to taking them to custody if it's necessary for the effective investigation of the offence. What sort of reasons would you have to search someones premises under S18 (5) prior to taking them to the station? Thanks in advance.
14-year-old added to UK police database for using Snapchat to send naked selfie
Burnsy2023 posted a topic in General Policing Discussionshttp://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/2015/09/14-year-old-added-to-uk-police-database-for-using-snapchat-to-send-naked-selfie/ The account on the Today Programme also seems to be insightful: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p031fztz There are plenty of other sources, but this story raises a few things that I am uncomfortable with. 1) The fact that there was an officer conducting crime enquiries on a suspect but was not questioning. The fact that the officer did not ask questions means that PACE is likely to not have been breached but it seems a bit of an abuse of process to me. If she did ask questions about the offence then an appropriate adult at the least would have been there to help the child understand what is going on as well as all the other protections PACE provides. 2) The fact that the officer mentioned that this may be disclosed on an Enhanced DBS. On reading the decision making guide, I think that although possible, this is highly unlikely to be deemed suitable for disclosure: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/295392/DBS_Applicant_s_introduction_to_QAF_March_2014.pdf 3) The recent push from HMIC about crime data integrity actually seems to have some real world detrimental effects. Is this right going forward or should there be a change in policy?
Police removal of 14-year-old girl's clothes was legal, court rules
Chief Bakes posted a topic in UK Policing NewsStripping a distressed and and vulnerable 14-year-old girl of her clothes upon arrival at a police station may not be the best way to cope with the risk of suicide, the appeal court has warned. But the three judges unanimously found that Merseyside police officers did not breach the teenager’s rights to privacy and acted “reasonably and proportionately in the urgency of the situation with which they were confronted”. The ruling comes after claims that more and more forces are strip-searching children not to look for hidden evidence but to ensure they do not attempt to self-harm or hang themselves while in police custody. Campaign groups say that officers do not take into account the trauma inflicted on young people in the process. The case was brought on behalf of the child, identified only as PD. She had been arrested in 2010 for being drunk and disorderly outside a kebab shop after drinking a large quantity of vodka. The girl had a history of mental health problems. Her parents were not informed, before her clothes were removed, that she had been detained overnight. Three female officers carried out the strip-search. She was put into a gown. Her pants were removed, supposedly because it was feared she could use the elastic to hang herself. CCTV from the cell later showed her ripping her hair out and banging her head against the wall – evidence, it is said, that she felt degraded. The judges, Lord Justice Pitchford, Lord Justice Lewison and Lord Justice Fulford, said: “Children in custody are vulnerable and ... special care is required to protect their interests and well being. [We] express concern that it should have been thought appropriate immediately to remove the clothes of a distressed and vulnerable 14-year-old girl without thought for alternative and less invasive measures to protect her from herself.” But the judges added: “The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace), provided [police] with the power to seize the claimant’s clothing in very limited circumstances, one of which was to prevent the claimant from harming herself. “There is no issue between the parties that this was the legitimate reason for the admitted interference with the claimant’s article 8 right [under the European convention on human rights] to respect for her private life; nor is there any challenge to the [original trial] judge’s finding that the action taken was an urgent necessity.” The officers had therefore not acted disproportionately and the claim failed. In the course of the judgment, however, the judges found that safeguards set out in Pace do apply even to cases where removal of clothes is for the purpose of ensuring a suspect’s safety. The appeal court added: “Except in cases of urgency, where there is a risk of harm to the detainee or to others, an appropriate adult [or parent] must be present (unless the detainee wishes the appropriate adult not to be present).” Two campaign groups, the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (Crae) and Just for Kids Law, intervened. Strip-searching of children doubled between 2008 and 2013, according to Crae. The youngest suspect was 12. In 45% of cases, no parent or appropriate adult were present when the child had some or all of their clothing removed. Paola Uccellari, director of Crae, said: “Being stripped by someone in a position of power is inevitably a traumatic and distressing experience for a child. “This measure must only be used as a last resort. If it’s being used as a matter of routine, or unnecessarily, it would breach a child’s human rights. Over-reliance on this practice needs to be looked at as a matter of urgency.” Shauneen Lambe, director of Just for Kids Law, said: “We were alarmed that a police force took the position that when a child is being stripped for their own protection, rather than looking for contraband, the same safeguarding protections did not apply and welcome this clarification from the court of appeal that they do. Along with Crae we have asked the government to undertake a review of why there appears to be such an increase in children being stripped by the police.” View the full article
Remote review of detention - PACE
Sentinel posted a topic in General Policing DiscussionsAn amendment of PACE under The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Remote Reviews of Detention) Regulations 2014 means that as of the 8th of January this year reviews of detention don't have to be done in person and can be done via video link. Does this pave the way for a reduction in the number of inspectors or is it just a tool to make their current workload a bit easier to manage?