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Beaker

Searching a MISPER's dwelling

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Beaker

Trying to work out the clarification here.

Had to do a search with a couple of Regs this week, and I've got write it up for PDP as Property Search is one thing I'm missing.  I'm trying to work out what powers we used to do the search.  I can't find the guidelines, or specific powers.

I don't think it's a S17 search as the person wasn't on the premises, it certainly wasn't a S18 as we weren't looking to arrest.  I was considering MHA S135, but that doesn't work either.  I was informed they had permission for a search, but other than that I'm kind of stumped (I should know this better with the amount of MISPER stuff we have to deal with). 

I'd have asked the Reg who requested help for the search, but I'm not in for a few days, and the question is nagging me. 

 

Edit :: To be clear, what powers should we be searching under?

 

 

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Chief Cheetah

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Hyphen

The search carried out sounds like a premises search with consent given by the occupier. I noticed in the OP it did mention you were told that permission had been given.

Because it’s consensual it wouldn’t really fall under the PACE powers or MHA etc.

It should still count as a search for your competencies though I would have thought.

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Beaker
2 minutes ago, Hyphen said:

I noticed in the OP it did mention you were told that permission had been given.

It wasn't permission from the resident though.

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Mac7

It would have been a search with the owners consent. I don't know what your premises search record looks like, but ours have a section where the owner can consent to a search. For belt and braces get that signed and leave a copy with the owner. However, whilst searching, if the owner changes their mind then you must stop. There is no general power to search a mispers home.

There will, of course, be scenarios where s.17 may be applicable. A search under s.18 is a power to search following arrest for an indictable offence so would not be applicable. The only offset power I can think of would be a warrant.

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bensonby

 

3 hours ago, Mac7 said:

It would have been a search with the owners consent. I don't know what your premises search record looks like, but ours have a section where the owner can consent to a search. For belt and braces get that signed and leave a copy with the owner

Getting signed permission before a search is a requirement of PACE (Code B, 5.1). It's not "belt and braces". Furthermore a notice of rights and entitlements must be given to the person before the search commences (Code B, 6.7).

 

Without full details of the OP's scenario it's hard to give a definitive opinion but I would expect a search of a misper's premises to be performed by consent normally. 

Edited by bensonby

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Mac7

When I say Belt and Braces I'm referring to giving the occupier a signed copy of the search record. How many bobbies have you seen that don't? A lot!

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Beaker

Couldn't find the occupier, it was why were searching. I'm assuming from the law,I have read we had a warrant, but in the rush to find anything for a vulnerable MISPER I forgot to check. I'll have to dig out the log next time I'm in to see what I can find out.

I was curious, that was all. It's knocking on the back of my head.

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Mac7
Couldn't find the occupier, it was why were searching. I'm assuming from the law,I have read we had a warrant, but in the rush to find anything for a vulnerable MISPER I forgot to check. I'll have to dig out the log next time I'm in to see what I can find out.

I was curious, that was all. It's knocking on the back of my head.



Never assume. It's always worth checking with someone that what your are doing/about to do is legal if you have doubts. If you got a complaint or caused damage to the property while searching then you need to make sure you were lawfully on premises.

Without knowing the full details of the incident it's difficult to answer.

If it was the generic misper report that response usually attend then I very much doubt you had a warrant. A s.17 entry and search could fit but without knowing the full facts then is difficult to answer. Speak to you colleagues or supervision if it niggling at you. I used to work on a team where we would enter premises under all sorts of legislation. The first thing we did as a team before an entry was to make sure everything we did was legal and the paperwork was in order. You would be surprised how many incorrect warrants came our way.

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Shmook

I'm guessing from your wording and as I know where you police that the premises was a hotel then?

Can you confirm? 

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Beaker
I'm guessing from your wording and as I know where you police that the premises was a hotel then?
Can you confirm? 

No, was a HMO. Though I believe we had been there earlier in the week.
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Beaker
HMO?

House of Multiple Occupancy. Just a house turned in to bedsits.

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SimonT
8 hours ago, Mac7 said:

When I say Belt and Braces I'm referring to giving the occupier a signed copy of the search record. How many bobbies have you seen that don't? A lot!

I have never done it. Never seen it done. 

If I am searching the missing persons address I don't expect there to be any issues. In fact I would assume the reporting person to think I was officious or strange to give them a leaflet telling them they can refuse me permission. 

If it's a contentious search then I might get a pnb entry. 

I'm not saying this is best practice, but it's what I have seen done, for years without issue. 

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bensonby

It's  not a question of best practice or whether it looks officious: it's a legal requirement.

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