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London Local Authorities Act 2000

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43Seizure under Part V

(1)An authorised officer or a constable who has reasonable cause to believe that busking is taking place or is about to take place without a licence or in breach of the terms and conditions of a licence or in a street which is not a licence street to which this Part of this Act applies may require that busking either cease or not take place.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below if the busking continues or takes place despite the requirement under subsection (1) above the authorised officer or constable may seize and remove any apparatus or equipment used in connection with the busking which may be required to be used in evidence in respect of an offence under section 42 (Enforcement under Part V) of this Act.

(3)An authorised officer or constable shall not seize any apparatus or equipment in pursuance of the powers in subsection (2) above unless the person busking fails to produce, in pursuance of a request by the constable or authorised officer, a licence authorising the busking.

(4)Before exercising any power under this section, an authorised officer shall, if requested to do so by the person busking, produce his authority.

(5)(a)The following provisions of this subsection shall have effect where any apparatus or equipment or any other thing is seized by an authorised officer under subsection (2) above and reference in those provisions to proceedings are to proceedings in respect of the alleged offence in relation to which the apparatus or equipment is seized.

(b)Subject to paragraph (c) below, after the conclusion of the proceedings, the apparatus or equipment shall be returned to the person from whom it was seized unless—

(i)the court orders it to be forfeited under any enactment;

(ii)any costs awarded to the council by the court, have not been paid within 28 days of the making of the order.

(c)Where after 28 days any costs awarded by the court to the council have not been paid to the council in full, the apparatus or equipment may be disposed of in any way the council thinks fit and any sum obtained by the council in excess of the costs awarded by the court shall be returned to the person to whom the apparatus or equipment belongs and when any apparatus or equipment is disposed of by the council under this subsection the council shall have a duty to secure the best possible price which can reasonably be obtained for that apparatus or equipment.

(d)If no proceedings are instituted before the expiration of a period of 28 days beginning with the date of seizure, or any proceedings instituted within that period are discontinued, at the expiration of that period or, as the case may be, on the discontinuance of the proceedings, the apparatus or equipment shall, subject to paragraph (e) below, be returned to the person from whom it was seized unless it has not proved possible, after diligent enquiry, to identify that person and ascertain his address.

(e)Where the apparatus or equipment is not returned because it has not proved possible to identify the person from whom it was seized and ascertain his address, the council (whether the article or thing was seized by an authorised officer or a constable) may apply to a magistrates' court for an order as to the manner in which it should be dealt with.

(6)In this section “authorised officer” includes a person employed by any contractor of the council with whom the council has contracted for the purposes of this section where that person has been authorised in writing by that contractor to act in relation to this section.

(7)(a)This subsection shall have effect where apparatus or equipment is seized under subsection (2) above and either—

(i)not less than six months have passed since the date of the seizure and no information has been laid against any person for an offence under this section in respect of the act or circumstances which occasioned the seizure; or

(ii)proceedings for such an offence have been brought and either the person charged has been acquitted (whether or not on appeal) and the time for appealing against or challenging the acquittal (where applicable) has expired without an appeal or challenge being brought, or the proceedings (including any appeal) have been withdrawn by, or have failed for want of prosecution by, the person by whom the original proceedings were brought.

(b)When this subsection has effect a person who has or at the time of seizure had a legal interest in the apparatus or equipment seized may recover compensation from the council or (where it is seized by a constable) the Commissioner by civil action in the County Court in respect of any loss suffered by him as a result of the seizure.

(c)The court may only make an order for compensation under paragraph (b) above if satisfied that seizure was not lawful under subsection (2) above.

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