Search Legislation

The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Entry and search after arrest

20.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Article, a constable may enter and search any premises occupied or controlled by a person who is under arrest for an arrestable offence, if he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that there is on the premises evidence, other than items subject to legal privilege, that relates—

(a)to that offence; or

(b)to some other arrestable offence which is connected with or similar to that offence.

(2) A constable may seize and retain anything for which he may search under paragraph (1).

(3) The power to search conferred by paragraph (1) is only a power to search to the extent that is reasonably required for the purpose of discovering such evidence.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), the powers conferred by this Article may not be exercised unless an officer of the rank of inspector or above has authorised them in writing.

(5) A constable may conduct a search under paragraph (1)—

(a)before taking the person to a police station; and

(b)without obtaining an authorisation under paragraph (4),

if the presence of that person at a place other than a police station is necessary for the effective investigation of the offence.

(6) If a constable conducts a search by virtue of paragraph (5), he shall inform an officer of the rank of inspector or above that he has made the search as soon as practicable after he has made it.

(7) An officer who—

(a)authorises a search; or

(b)is informed of a search under paragraph (6),

shall make a record in writing—

(i)of the grounds for the search; and

(ii)of the nature of the evidence that was sought.

(8) If the person who was in occupation or control of the premises at the time of the search is in police detention at the time the record is to be made, the officer shall make the record as part of his custody record.

(9) In the application of this Article to a member of a constabulary not maintained by the Police Authority, references to an officer of the rank of inspector or above shall be construed as references to a member of that constabulary whose rank is above that of constable.

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