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The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Detention—conditions and duration

Limitations on police detention

35.—(1) A person arrested for an offence shall not be kept in police detention except in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), if at any time a custody officer—

(a)becomes aware, in relation to any person in police detention, that the grounds for the detention of that person have ceased to apply; and

(b)is not aware of any other grounds on which the continued detention of that person could be justified under the provisions of this Part,

it shall be the duty of the custody officer, subject to paragraph (4), to order his immediate release from custody.

(3) No person in police detention shall be released except on the authority of a custody officer at the police station where his detention was authorised or, if it was authorised at more than one station, a custody officer at the station where it was last authorised.

(4) Nothing in this Part requires the release of a person who appears to the custody officer to have been unlawfully at large when he was arrested.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6), a person whose release is ordered under paragraph (2) shall be released without bail.

(6) Where—

(a)it appears to the custody officer—

(i)that there is need for further investigation of any matter in connection with which that person was detained at any time during his detention; or

(ii)that proceedings may be taken against that person in respect of any such matter; and

(b)the custody officer considers that, having regard to all the circumstances, that person should be released only on bail,

the custody officer shall so release that person.

(7) For the purposes of this Part a person arrested under Article 146(3)(b) of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(1) is arrested for an offence.

Designated police stations

36.—(1) The Chief Constable shall designate the police stations which, subject to Article 32(3), (5) and (6), are to be used for the purpose of detaining arrested persons.

(2) The Chief Constable’s duty under paragraph (1) is to designate police stations appearing to him to provide enough accommodation for that purpose.

(3) Without prejudice to section 17(1) and (3) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(2) the Chief Constable—

(a)may designate a station which was not previously designated; and

(b)may direct that a designation of a station previously made shall cease to operate.

(4) In this Order “designated police station” means a police station for the time being designated under this Article.

Custody officers at police stations

37.—(1) One or more custody officers shall be appointed for each designated police station.

(2) A custody officer for a designated police station shall be appointed—

(a)by the Chief Constable; or

(b)by such other police officer as the Chief Constable may direct.

(3) No police officer may be appointed a custody officer unless he is of at least the rank of sergeant.

(4) A police officer of any rank may perform the functions of a custody officer at a designated police station if a custody officer is not readily available to perform them.

(5) Subject to the following provisions of this Article and to Article 40(2), none of the functions of a custody officer in relation to a person shall be performed by an officer who at the time when the function falls to be performed is involved in the investigation of an offence for which that person is in police detention at that time.

(6) Nothing in paragraph (5) is to be taken to prevent a custody officer—

(a)performing any function assigned to custody officers—

(i)by this Order; or

(ii)by a code of practice issued under this Order;

(b)carrying out the duty imposed on custody officers by Article 40;

(c)doing anything in connection with the identification of a suspect; or

(d)doing anything under Article 144, 146 or 147 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(3).

(7) Where an arrested person is taken to a police station which is not a designated police station, the functions in relation to him which at a designated police station would be the functions of a custody officer shall be performed—

(a)by an officer who is not involved in the investigation of an offence for which he is in police detention, if such an officer is readily available; and

(b)if no such officer is readily available, by the officer who took him to the station or any other officer.

(8) References to a custody officer in the following provisions of this Order include references to an officer other than a custody officer who is performing the functions of a custody officer by virtue of paragraph (4) or (7).

(9) Where by virtue of paragraph (7) a police officer who took an arrested person to a police station is to perform the functions of a custody officer in relation to him, the officer shall inform an officer who—

(a)is attached to a designated police station; and

(b)is of at least the rank of inspector,

that he is to do so.

(10) The duty imposed by paragraph (9) shall be performed as soon as it is practicable to perform it.

Duties of custody officer before charge

38.—(1) Where—

(a)a person is arrested for an offence—

(i)without a warrant; or

(ii)under a warrant not endorsed for bail, or

(b)a person returns to a police station to answer to bail after having been arrested for an offence,

the custody officer at each police station where he is detained after his arrest shall determine whether he has before him sufficient evidence to charge that person with the offence for which he was arrested and may detain him at the police station for such period as is necessary to enable him to do so.

(2) If the custody officer determines that he does not have such evidence before him, the person arrested shall be released either on bail or without bail, unless the custody officer has reasonable grounds for believing that his detention without being charged is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which he is under arrest or to obtain such evidence by questioning him.

(3) If the custody officer has reasonable grounds for so believing, he may authorise the person arrested to be kept in police detention.

(4) Where a custody officer authorises a person who has not been charged to be kept in police detention, he shall, as soon as is practicable, make a written record of the grounds for the detention.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6), the written record shall be made in the presence of the person arrested who shall at that time be informed by the custody officer of the grounds for his detention.

(6) Paragraph (5) shall not apply where the person arrested is, at the time when the written record is made—

(a)incapable of understanding what is said to him;

(b)violent or likely to become violent; or

(c)in urgent need of medical attention.

(7) Subject to Article 42(5), if the custody officer determines that he has before him sufficient evidence to charge the person arrested with the offence for which he was arrested, the person arrested—

(a)shall be charged; or

(b)shall be released without charge, either on bail or without bail.

(8) Where—

(a)a person is released under paragraph (7)(b); and

(b)at the time of his release a decision whether he should be prosecuted for the offence for which he was arrested has not been taken,

it shall be the duty of the custody officer so to inform him.

(9) If the person arrested is not in a fit state to be dealt with under paragraph (7), he may be kept in police detention until he is.

(10) The duty imposed on the custody officer under paragraph (1) shall be carried out by him as soon as practicable after the person arrested arrives at the police station or, in the case of a person arrested at the police station, as soon as practicable after the arrest.

(11) Where an arrested juvenile who was arrested without a warrant is not released under paragraph (2), it shall be the duty of the custody officer—

(a)to inform the arrested juvenile that he has reasonable grounds for believing that his detention is necessary in connection with an offence and to state the offence;

(b)to take such steps as are practicable to ascertain the identity of a person responsible for the welfare of the arrested juvenile; and

(c)if—

(i)he ascertains the identity of any such person; and

(ii)it is practicable to do so,

to inform that person, as soon as it is practicable to do so, of the arrest and of the offence alleged to have been committed by the juvenile.

(12) For the purposes of paragraph (11) the persons who may be responsible for the welfare of an arrested juvenile are—

(a)his parent or guardian; and

(b)any other person who has for the time being assumed responsibility for his welfare.

(13) If it appears to the custody officer that—

(a)a supervision order, as defined in section 81 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968(4); or

(b)a probation order, as defined in section 1 of the Probation Act (Northern Ireland) 1950(5);

is in force in respect of an arrested juvenile, the custody officer shall also inform the person responsible for the arrested juvenile’s supervision or his probation officer of the arrest and of the offence alleged to have been committed by the juvenile, as soon as it is practicable to do so.

(14) In this Part—

“arrested juvenile” means a person arrested with or without a warrant who appears to be under the age of 17 and is not excluded from this Part by Article 52;

“endorsed for bail” means endorsed with a direction for bail in accordance with Article 129 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(6).

Duties of custody officer after charge

39.—(1) Where a person arrested for an offence otherwise than under a warrant endorsed for bail is charged with an offence, the custody officer shall order his release from police detention, either on bail or without bail, unless—

(a)if the person arrested is not an arrested juvenile—

(i)his name or address cannot be ascertained or the custody officer has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name or address furnished by him as his name or address is his real name or address;

(ii)the custody officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the detention of the person arrested is necessary for his own protection or to prevent him from causing physical injury to any other person or from causing loss of or damage to property; or

(iii)the custody officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the person arrested will fail to appear in court to answer to bail or that his detention is necessary to prevent him from interfering with the administration of justice or with the investigation of offences or of a particular offence;

(b)if he is an arrested juvenile—

(i)any of the requirements of sub-paragraph (a) is satisfied; or

(ii)the custody officer has reasonable grounds for believing that he ought to be detained in his own interests.

(2) If the release of a person arrested is not required by paragraph (1), the custody officer may authorise him to be kept in police detention.

(3) Where a custody officer authorises a person who has been charged to be kept in police detention, he shall, as soon as practicable, make a written record of the grounds for the detention.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), the written record shall be made in the presence of the person charged who shall at that time be informed by the custody officer of the grounds for his detention.

(5) Paragraph (4) shall not apply where the person charged is, at the time when the written record is made—

(a)incapable of understanding what is said to him;

(b)violent or likely to become violent; or

(c)in urgent need of medical attention.

(6) Where a custody officer authorises an arrested juvenile to be kept in police detention under paragraph (1), the custody officer shall, unless he certifies that it is impracticable to do so, make arrangements for the arrested juvenile to be taken to a place of safety and detained there; and it shall be lawful to detain him in pursuance of the arrangements.

(7) A certificate made under paragraph (6) in respect of an arrested juvenile shall be produced to the court before which he is first brought thereafter.

(8) In paragraph (6) “place of safety” has the meaning given in section 180(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968(7), but does not include a constabulary station.

Responsibilities in relation to persons detained

40.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (4), it shall be the duty of the custody officer at a police station to ensure—

(a)that all persons in police detention at that station are treated in accordance with this Order and any code of practice issued under it and relating to the treatment of persons in police detention; and

(b)that all matters relating to such persons which are required by this Order or by such codes of practice to be recorded are recorded in the custody records relating to such persons.

(2) If the custody officer, in accordance with any code of practice issued under this Order, transfers or permits the transfer of a person in police detention—

(a)to the custody of a police officer investigating an offence for which that person is in police detention; or

(b)to the custody of an officer who has charge of that person outside the police station,

the custody officer shall cease in relation to that person to be subject to the duty imposed on him by paragraph (1)(a); and it shall be the duty of the officer to whom the transfer is made to ensure that he is treated in accordance with the provisions of this Order and of any such codes of practice as are mentioned in paragraph (1).

(3) If the person detained is subsequently returned to the custody of the custody officer, it shall be the duty of the officer investigating the offence to report to the custody officer as to the manner in which this Article and the codes of practice have been complied with while that person was in his custody.

(4) If an arrested juvenile is taken to a place of safety in pursuance of arrangements made under Article 39(6), the custody officer shall cease in relation to that person to be subject to the duty imposed on him by paragraph (1).

(5) Where an arrested juvenile is taken to a place of safety in pursuance of such arrangements, it shall be the duty of the occupier of that place to make available to him such advice and assistance as may be appropriate in the circumstances.

(6) Where—

(a)an officer of higher rank than the custody officer gives directions relating to a person in police detention; and

(b)the directions are at variance—

(i)with any decision made or action taken by the custody officer in the performance of a duty imposed on him under this Part; or

(ii)with any decision or action which would but for the directions have been made or taken by him in the performance of such a duty,

the custody officer shall refer the matter at once to an officer of the rank of superintendent or above who is responsible for the police station for which the custody officer is acting as custody officer.

Review of police detention

41.—(1) Reviews of the detention of each person in police detention in connection with the investigation of an offence shall be carried out periodically in accordance with the following provisions of this Article—

(a)in the case of a person who has been arrested and charged, by the custody officer; and

(b)in the case of a person who has been arrested but not charged, by an officer of at least the rank of inspector who has not been directly involved in the investigation.

(2) The officer to whom it falls to carry out a review is referred to in this Article as a “review officer”.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4)—

(a)the first review shall be not later than six hours after the detention was first authorised;

(b)the second review shall be not later than nine hours after the first;

(c)subsequent reviews shall be at intervals of not more than nine hours.

(4) A review may be postponed—

(a)if, having regard to all the circumstances prevailing at the latest time for it specified in paragraph (3), it is not practicable to carry out the review at that time;

(b)without prejudice to the generality of sub-paragraph (a)—

(i)if at that time the person in detention is being questioned by a police officer and the review officer is satisfied that an interruption of the questioning for the purpose of carrying out the review would prejudice the investigation in connection with which he is being questioned; or

(ii)if at that time no review officer is readily available.

(5) If a review is postponed under paragraph (4) it shall be carried out as soon as practicable after the latest time specified for it in paragraph (3).

(6) If a review is carried out after postponement under paragraph (4), the fact that it was so carried out shall not affect any requirement of this Article as to the time at which any subsequent review is to be carried out.

(7) The review officer shall record the reasons for any postponement of a review in the custody record.

(8) Subject to paragraph (9), where the person whose detention is under review has not been charged before the time of the review, Article 38(1) to (6) shall have effect in relation to him, but with the substitution—

(a)of references to the person whose detention is under review for references to the person arrested; and

(b)of references to the review officer for references to the custody officer.

(9) Where a person has been kept in police detention by virtue of Article 38(9), Article 38(1) to (6) shall not have effect in relation to him but it shall be the duty of the review officer to determine whether he is yet in a fit state.

(10) Where the person whose detention is under review has been charged before the time of the review, Article 39(1) to (6) shall have effect in relation to him, but with the substitution of references to the person whose detention is under review for references to the person arrested.

(11) Where—

(a)an officer of higher rank than the review officer gives directions relating to a person in police detention; and

(b)the directions are at variance—

(i)with any decision made or action taken by the review officer in the performance of a duty imposed on him under this Part; or

(ii)with any decision or action which would but for the directions have been made or taken by him in the performance of such a duty,

the review officer shall refer the matter at once to an officer of the rank of superintendent or above who is responsible for the police station for which the review officer is acting as review officer in connection with the detention.

(12) Before determining whether to authorise a person’s continued detention the review officer shall give—

(a)that person (unless he is asleep); or

(b)any solicitor representing him who is available at the time of the review,

an opportunity to make representations to him about the detention.

(13) Subject to paragraph (14), the person whose detention is under review or his solicitor may make representations under paragraph (12) either orally or in writing.

(14) The review officer may refuse to hear oral representations from the person whose detention is under review if he considers that he is unfit to make such representations by reason of his condition or behaviour.

Limits on period of detention without charge

42.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Article and to Articles 43 and 44, a person shall not be kept in police detention for more than 24 hours without being charged.

(2) The time from which the period of detention of a person is to be calculated (in this Order referred to as “the relevant time”)—

(a)in the case of a person arrested outside Northern Ireland, shall be—

(i)the time at which that person arrives at the first police station to which he is taken in Northern Ireland; or

(ii)the time 24 hours after the time of that person’s entry into Northern Ireland,

whichever is the earlier;

(b)in the case of a person who—

(i)attends voluntarily at a police station; or

(ii)accompanies a constable to a police station without having been arrested,

and is arrested at the police station, shall be the time of his arrest;

(c)in any other case, shall be the time at which the person arrested arrives at the first police station to which he is taken after his arrest.

(3) Paragraph (2) shall have effect in relation to a person arrested under Article 33 as if every reference in it to his arrest or his being arrested were a reference to his arrest or his being arrested for the offence for which he was originally arrested.

(4) When a person who is in police detention is removed to hospital because he is in need of medical treatment, any time during which he is being questioned in hospital or on the way there or back by a police officer for the purpose of obtaining evidence relating to an offence shall be included in any period which falls to be calculated for the purposes of this Part, but any other time while he is in hospital or on his way there or back shall not be so included.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6), a person who at the expiry of 24 hours after the relevant time is in police detention and has not been charged shall be released at that time either on bail or without bail.

(6) Paragraph (5) does not apply to a person whose detention for more than 24 hours after the relevant time has been authorised or is otherwise permitted in accordance with Article 43 or 44.

(7) A person released under paragraph (5) shall not be re-arrested without a warrant for the offence for which he was previously arrested unless new evidence justifying a further arrest has come to light since his release.

Authorisation of continued detention

43.—(1) Where a police officer of the rank of superintendent or above who is responsible for the police station at which a person is detained has reasonable grounds for believing that—

(a)the detention of that person without charge is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which he is under arrest or to obtain such evidence by questioning him;

(b)an offence for which he is under arrest is a serious arrestable offence; and

(c)the investigation is being conducted diligently and expeditiously,

he may authorise the keeping of that person in police detention for a period expiring at or before 36 hours after the relevant time.

(2) Where an officer such as is mentioned in paragraph (1) has authorised the keeping of a person in police detention for a period expiring less than 36 hours after the relevant time, such an officer may authorise the keeping of that person in police detention for a further period expiring not more than 36 hours after that time if the conditions specified in paragraph (1) are still satisfied when he gives the authorisation.

(3) No authorisation under paragraph (1) shall be given in respect of any person—

(a)more than 24 hours after the relevant time; or

(b)before the second review of his detention under Article 41 has been carried out.

(4) Where an officer authorises the keeping of a person in police detention under paragraph (1), it shall be his duty—

(a)to inform that person of the grounds for his continued detention; and

(b)to record the grounds in that person’s custody record.

(5) Before determining whether to authorise the keeping of a person in detention under paragraph (1) or (2), an officer shall give—

(a)that person; or

(b)any solicitor representing him who is available at the time when it falls to the officer to determine whether to give the authorisation,

an opportunity to make representations to him about the detention.

(6) Subject to paragraph (7), the person in detention or his solicitor may make representations under paragraph (5) either orally or in writing.

(7) The officer to whom it falls to determine whether to give the authorisation may refuse to hear oral representations from the person in detention if he considers that he is unfit to make such representations by reason of his condition or behaviour.

(8) Where—

(a)an officer authorises the keeping of a person in detention under paragraph (1); and

(b)at the time of the authorisation he has not yet exercised a right conferred on him by Article 57 or 59,

the officer—

(i)shall inform him of that right;

(ii)shall decide whether he should be permitted to exercise it;

(iii)shall record the decision in his custody record; and

(iv)if the decision is to refuse to permit the exercise of the right, shall also record the grounds for the decision in that record.

(9) Where an officer has authorised the keeping of a person who has not been charged in detention under paragraph (1) or (2), heshall be released from detention, either on bail or without bail, not later than 36 hours after the relevant time, unless—

(a)he has been charged with an offence; or

(b)his further detention is authorised or otherwise permitted in accordance with Article 44.

(10) A person released under paragraph (9) shall not be re-arrested without a warrant for the offence for which he was previously arrested unless new evidence justifying a further arrest has come to light since his release.

Warrants of further detention

44.—(1) Where, on a complaint made in writing by a constable and substantiated on oath, a magistrates' court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the further detention of the person to whom the complaint relates is justified, it may issue a warrant of further detention authorising the keeping of that person in police detention.

(2) A court may not hear a complaint under paragraph (1) unless the person to whom the complaint relates—

(a)has been furnished with a copy of the complaint; and

(b)has been brought before the court for the hearing.

(3) The person to whom the complaint relates shall be entitled to be legally represented at the hearing and, if he is not so representedbut wishes to be so represented—

(a)the court shall adjourn the hearing to enable him to obtain representation; and

(b)he may be kept in police detention during the adjournment.

(4) A person’s further detention is only justified for the purposes of this Article or Article 45 if—

(a)his detention without charge is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to an offence for which he is under arrest or to obtain such evidence by questioning him;

(b)an offence for which he is under arrest is a serious arrestable offence; and

(c)the investigation is being conducted diligently and expeditiously.

(5) Subject to paragraph (7), a complaint under paragraph (1) may be made—

(a)at any time before the expiry of 36 hours after the relevant time; or

(b)in a case where—

(i)it is not practicable for the magistrates' court to which the complaint will be made to sit at the expiry of 36 hours after the relevant time; but

(ii)the court will sit during the 6 hours following the end of that period,

at any time before the expiry of the said 6 hours.

(6) In a case to which paragraph (5)(b) applies—

(a)the person to whom the complaint relates may be kept in police detention until the complaint is heard; and

(b)the custody officer shall make a note in that person’s custody record—

(i)of the fact that he was kept in police detention for more than 36 hours after the relevant time; and

(ii)of the reason why he was so kept.

(7) If—

(a)a complaint under paragraph (1) is made after the expiry of 36 hours after the relevant time; and

(b)it appears to the magistrates' court that it would have been reasonable for the police to make it before the expiry of that period,

the court shall dismiss the complaint.

(8) Where on a complaint under paragraph (1) a magistrates' court is not satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the further detention of the person to whom the complaint relates is justified, it shall be its duty—

(a)to refuse to issue a warrant of further detention; or

(b)to adjourn the hearing of it until a time not later than 36 hours after the relevant time.

(9) The person to whom the complaint relates may be kept in police detention during the adjournment.

(10) A warrant of further detention shall—

(a)state the time at which it is issued;

(b)authorise the keeping in police detention of the person to whom it relates for the period stated in it.

(11) Subject to paragraph (12), the period stated in a warrant of further detention shall be such period as the magistrates' court thinks fit, having regard to the evidence before it.

(12) The period shall not be longer than 36 hours.

(13) A complaint under paragraph (1) shall state—

(a)the nature of the offence for which the person to whom the complaint relates has been arrested;

(b)the general nature of the evidence on which that person was arrested;

(c)what inquiries relating to the offence have been made by the police and what further inquiries are proposed by them;

(d)the reasons for believing the continued detention of that person to be necessary for the purposes of such further inquiries.

(14) Where a complaint under paragraph (1) is dismissed, the person to whom the complaint relates shall forthwith be charged or, subject to paragraph (15), released, either on bail or without bail.

(15) A person need not be released under paragraph (14)—

(a)before the expiry of 24 hours after the relevant time; or

(b)before the expiry of any longer period for which his continued detention is or has been authorised under Article 43.

(16) Where a complaint under paragraph (1) is dismissed, no further complaint shall be made under that paragraph in respect of the person to whom the dismissal relates, unless supported by evidence which has come to light since the dismissal.

(17) Where a warrant of further detention is issued, the person to whom it relates shall be released from police detention, either on bail or without bail, upon or before the expiry of the warrant unless he is charged.

(18) A person released under paragraph (17) shall not be re-arrested without a warrant for the offence for which he was previously arrested unless new evidence justifying a further arrest has come to light since his release.

(19) A magistrates' court hearing a complaint under this Article shall not sit in open court.

Extension of warrants of further detention

45.—(1) On a complaint made in writing by a constable and substantiated on oath, a magistrates' court may extend a warrant of further detention issued under Article 44 if it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the further detention of the person to whom the complaint relates is justified.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), the period for which a warrant of further detention may be extended shall be such period as the court thinks fit, having regard to the evidence before it.

(3) The period shall not—

(a)be longer than 36 hours; or

(b)end later than 96 hours after the relevant time.

(4) Where a warrant of further detention has been extended under paragraph (1), or further extended under this paragraph, for a period ending before 96 hours after the relevant time, on a complaint such as is mentioned in that paragraph a magistrates' court may further extend the warrant if it is satisfied as there mentioned; and paragraphs (2) and (3) apply to such further extensions as they apply to extensions under paragraph (1).

(5) A warrant of further detention shall, if extended or further extended under this Article, be endorsed with a note of the period of the extension.

(6) Paragraphs (2), (3), (13) and (19) of Article 44 shall apply to a complaint made under this Article as they apply to a complaint made under that Article.

(7) Where a complaint under this Article is dismissed, the person to whom the complaint relates shall forthwith be charged or, subject to paragraph (8), released, either on bail or without bail.

(8) A person need not be released under paragraph (7) before the expiry of any period for which a warrant of further detention issued in relation to him has been extended or further extended on an earlier complaint made under this Article.

Detention before charge—supplementary

46.  Any reference in this Part to a period of time or a time of day is to be treated as approximate only.

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