Search Legislation

The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Entry and search without search warrant

Entry for purpose of arrest etc.

19.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Article, and without prejudice to any other statutory provision, a constable may enter and search any premises for the purpose—

(a)of executing—

(i)a warrant of arrest issued in connection with or arising out of criminal proceedings; or

(ii)a warrant of commitment issued under Article 92 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(1);

(b)of arresting a person for an arrestable offence;

(c)of arresting a person for an offence under Article 9 or 21 of the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987(2);

(d)of recapturing a person who is unlawfully at large and whom he is pursuing; or

(e)of saving life or limb or preventing serious damage to property.

(2) Except for the purpose specified in paragraph (1)(e), the powers of entry and search conferred by this Article—

(a)are only exercisable if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that the person whom he is seeking is on the premises; and

(b)are limited, in relation to premises consisting of two or more separate dwellings, to powers to enter and search—

(i)any parts of the premises which the occupiers of any dwelling comprised in the premises use in common with the occupiers of any other such dwelling; and

(ii)any such dwelling in which the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that the person whom he is seeking may be.

(3) The power of search conferred by this Article is only a power to search to the extent that is reasonably required for the purpose for which the power of entry is exercised.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), all the rules of common law under which a constable has power to enter premises without a warrant are hereby abolished.

(5) Nothing in paragraph (4) affects any power of entry to deal with or prevent a breach of the peace.

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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