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UK/Scottish/Welsh Law/Words used when making an arrest

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Question
Hello,

I am writing a fictional story (not professionally) in which UK police officers enter a church and arrest the pastor for "preaching without a license". I wondered if you could tell me what words they might use. They have a warrant.

Thanks very much for your help.

Regards, Dominic

Answer
Hi Dominic,

You probably realise that preaching without a licenCe (UK spelling!) is not a crime and therefore would not be dealt with by the Police, but you are writing fiction ...

You may find it interesting to read:
http://anglicanhistory.org/england/jwords/readers.html.

In Scotland, there would be two Officers (corroboration required under Scots law) and the minister (Church of Scotland) would be detained, as suspects are detained and then only arrested if there is sufficient evidence to charge.

One of the Officers would say, (Possibly - "I'm sorry, Reverend Smith, but ...") I am detaining you under Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 regarding preaching without a licence. You do not have to say anything, but anything you do say will be recorded and may be given in evidence. Do you understand?"

South of the border, in England or Wales, there would probably, but not necessarily be two Officers present and the priest (Anglican Church) would be arrested on suspicion of the offence.

One of them would say, "I am arresting you on suspicion of preaching without a licence. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."

In neither case would a warrant be involved. Police Officers have the power to detain/arrest without warrant. A warrant is only issued by a Court for someone's arrest if they have failed to appear in Court, cannot be traced or have failed to pay a fine.

In either case, there would have to justification for exercising the power of detention/arrest - Officers must consider if the necessary objectives can be met by other, less
intrusive means - the detention/arrest must be necessary.

In England & Wales, this is listed (at length!) in Para 2.9 of their PACE (Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984) Code G:
2.9 When it is practicable to tell a person why their arrest is necessary (as
required by paragraphs 2.2, 3.3 and Note 3), the constable should outline
the facts, information and other circumstances which provide the grounds
for believing that their arrest is necessary and which the officer considers
satisfy one or more of the statutory criteria in sub-paragraphs (a) to (f),
namely:
(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):
An officer might decide that a person’s name cannot be readily
ascertained if they fail or refuse to give it when asked, particularly
after being warned that failure or refusal is likely to make their arrest
necessary (see Note 2D). Grounds to doubt a name given may arise if
the person appears reluctant or hesitant when asked to give their name
or to verify the name they have given.
Where mobile fingerprinting is available and the suspect’s name cannot
be ascertained or is doubted, the officer should consider using the
power under section 61(6A) of PACE (see Code D paragraph 4.3(e)) to
take and check the fingerprints of a suspect as this may avoid the need
to arrest solely to enable their name to be ascertained.
(b) correspondingly as regards the person’s address:
An officer might decide that a person’s address cannot be readily
ascertained if they fail or refuse to give it when asked, particularly
after being warned that such a failure or refusal is likely to make their
arrest necessary. See Note 2D. Grounds to doubt an address given may
arise if the person appears reluctant or hesitant when asked to give
their address or is unable to provide verifiable details of the locality
they claim to live in.
When considering reporting to consider summons or charging by post as
alternatives to arrest, an address would be satisfactory if the person
will be at it for a sufficiently long period for it to be possible to serve
them with the summons or requisition and charge; or, that some other
person at that address specified by the person will accept service on
their behalf. When considering issuing a penalty notice, the address
should be one where the person will be in the event of enforcement
action if the person does not pay the penalty or is convicted and fined
after a court hearing.
(c) to prevent the person in question:
(i) causing physical injury to himself or any other person;
This might apply where the suspect has already used or threatened
violence against others and it is thought likely that they may assault
others if they are not arrested. See Note 2D G
Codes of Practice – Code G Statutory power of arrest by police officers
5
(ii) suffering physical injury;
This might apply where the suspect’s behaviour and actions are
believed likely to provoke, or have provoked, others to want to
assault the suspect unless the suspect is arrested for their own
protection. See Note 2D
(iii) causing loss or damage to property;
This might apply where the suspect is a known persistent offender
with a history of serial offending against property (theft and
criminal damage) and it is thought likely that they may continue
offending if they are not arrested.
(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);
This might apply when an offence against public decency is being
committed in a place to which the public have access and is likely
to be repeated in that or some other public place at a time when
the public are likely to encounter the suspect. See Note 2D
(v) causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway;
This might apply to any offence where its commission causes an
unlawful obstruction which it is believed may continue or be
repeated if the person is not arrested, particularly if the person has
been warned that they are causing an obstruction. See Note 2D
(d) to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in
question.
This might apply when the health (physical or mental) or welfare of a
child or vulnerable person is likely to be harmed or is at risk of being
harmed, if the person is not arrested in cases where it is not practicable
and appropriate to make alternative arrangements to prevent the
suspect from having any harmful or potentially harmful contact with the
child or vulnerable person.
(e) to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the
conduct of the person in question. See Note 2E
This may arise when it is thought likely that unless the person is
arrested and then either taken in custody to the police station or
granted ‘street bail’ to attend the station later, see Note 2J, further
action considered necessary to properly investigate their involvement in
the offence would be frustrated, unreasonably delayed or otherwise
hindered and therefore be impracticable. Examples of such actions
include:
(i) interviewing the suspect on occasions when the person’s voluntary
attendance is not considered to be a practicable alternative to
arrest, because for example:
• it is thought unlikely that the person would attend the police
station voluntarily to be interviewed.
• it is necessary to interview the suspect about the outcome of
other investigative action for which their arrest is necessary, see
(ii) to (v) below. G
Codes of Practice – Code G Statutory power of arrest by police officers
6
• arrest would enable the special warning to be given in
accordance with Code C paragraphs 10.10 and 10.11 when the
suspect is found:
∼ in possession of incriminating objects, or at a place where
such objects are found;
∼ at or near the scene of the crime at or about the time it was
committed.
• the person has made false statements and/or presented false
evidence;
• it is thought likely that the person:
∼ may steal or destroy evidence;
∼ may collude or make contact with, co-suspects or
conspirators;
∼ may intimidate or threaten or make contact with, witnesses.
See Notes 2F and 2G
(ii) when considering arrest in connection with the investigation of an
indictable offence (see Note 6), there is a need:
• to enter and search without a search warrant any premises
occupied or controlled by the arrested person or where the
person was when arrested or immediately before arrest;
• to prevent the arrested person from having contact with others;
• to detain the arrested person for more than 24 hours before
charge.
(iii) when considering arrest in connection with any recordable offence
and it is necessary to secure or preserve evidence of that offence
by taking fingerprints, footwear impressions or samples from the
suspect for evidential comparison or matching with other material
relating to that offence, for example, from the crime scene. See
Note 2H
(iv) when considering arrest in connection with any offence and it is
necessary to search, examine or photograph the person to obtain
evidence. See Note 2H
(v) when considering arrest in connection with an offence to which the
statutory Class A drug testing requirements in Code C section 17
apply, to enable testing when it is thought that drug misuse might
have caused or contributed to the offence. See Note 2I.
(f) to prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the
disappearance of the person in question.
This may arise when it is thought that:
• if the person is not arrested they are unlikely to attend court if they
are prosecuted;
• the address given is not a satisfactory address for service of a
summons or a written charge and requisition to appear at court
because the person will not be at it for a sufficiently long period for
the summons or charge and requisition to be served and no other
person at that specified address will accept service on their behalf.

So, as you can see, you will have to build the circumstances accordingly.

Given that it was necessary to detain/arrest, the suspect must then be taken to the nearest Police station and booked into custody and supervised by a custody-qualified member of staff, almost always a civilian Custody Officer, supervised by a Custody Sergeant.

Thereafter, the suspect can be interviewed (in E&W, in the presence of a solicitor; in Scotland, only occasionally so) on audio/video tape.

If charged, the Custody Sergeant would then consider whether it was necessary to retain the suspect in custody to appear at Court on the next lawful day. In these circumstances, that would not be the case and a report would be compiled and sent to the Procurator Fiscal (Director of Public Prosecution - DPP - in E&W) in a few days time and any court proceedings would take place some 3-18 months thereafter.

And you thought it was just a brief, easy question ...!!

;-)

UK/Scottish/Welsh Law

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Bruce Fyfe

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Scottish Criminal Law - any area. NOT IMMIGRATION ISSUES. I am a retired, operational Police Officer with 30 years` service. As well as my own knowledge and training, I can draw on many other resources in the Scottish criminal justice system and welcome the challenge. NB Scottish, not English; criminal, not civil or immigration!

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