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The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Searches of detained persons

55.—(1) The custody officer at a police station shall ascertain and record or cause to be recorded everything which a person has with him when he is—

(a)brought to the station after being arrested elsewhere or after being committed to custody by an order or sentence of a court; or

(b)arrested at the station or detained there under Article 38(3).

(2) In the case of an arrested person the record shall be made as part of his custody record.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), a custody officer may seize and retain any such thing or cause any such thing to be seized and retained.

(4) Clothes and personal effects may only be seized if the custody officer—

(a)believes that the person from whom they are seized may use them—

(i)to cause physical injury to himself or any other person;

(ii)to damage property;

(iii)to interfere with evidence; or

(iv)to assist him to escape; or

(b)has reasonable grounds for believing that they may be evidence relating to an offence.

(5) Where anything is seized, the person from whom it is seized shall be told the reason for the seizure unless he is—

(a)violent or likely to become violent; or

(b)incapable of understanding what is said to him.

(6) Subject to paragraph (10), a person may be searched if the custody officer considers it necessary to enable him to carry out his duty under paragraph (1) and to the extent that the custody officer considers necessary for that purpose.

(7) A person who is in custody at a police station or is in police detention otherwise than at a police station may at any time be searched in order to ascertain whether he has with him anything which he could use for any of the purposes specified in paragraph (4)(a).

(8) Subject to paragraph (9), a constable may seize and retain, or cause to be seized and retained, anything found on such a search.

(9) A constable may only seize clothes and personal effects in the circumstances specified in paragraph (4).

(10) An intimate search may not be conducted under this Article.

(11) A search under this Article shall be carried out by a constable.

(12) The constable carrying out a search shall be of the same sex as the person searched.

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