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Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

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37 Duties of custody officer before charge.E+W

(1)Where—

(a)a person is arrested for an offence—

(i)without a warrant; or

(ii)under a warrant not endorsed for bail, F1. . .

(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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 subsection (6) below, 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)Subsection (5) above 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 section 41(7) below, 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—

[F2(a)[F3 shall be—

(i)released without charge and on bail, or

(ii)kept in police detention,

for the purpose]F3 of enabling the Director of Public Prosecutions to make a decision under section 37B below,

(b)shall be released without charge and on bail but not for that purpose,

(c)shall be released without charge and without bail, or

(d)shall be charged.]

[F4F2(7A)The decision as to how a person is to be dealt with under subsection (7) above shall be that of the custody officer.

(7B)Where a person is [F5dealt with under subsection (7)(a)]F5 above, it shall be the duty of the custody officer to inform him that he is being released [F6, or (as the case may be) detained,]F6 to enable the Director of Public Prosecutions to make a decision under section 37B below.]

F4(8)Where—

(a)a person is released under subsection (7)(b) [F7or (c)]F7 above; 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.

[F8(8A)Subsection (8B) applies if the offence for which the person is arrested is one in relation to which a sample could be taken under section 63B below and the custody officer—

(a)is required in pursuance of subsection (2) above to release the person arrested and decides to release him on bail, or

(b)decides in pursuance of subsection (7)(a) or (b) above to release the person without charge and on bail.

(8B)The detention of the person may be continued to enable a sample to be taken under section 63B, but this subsection does not permit a person to be detained for a period of more than 24 hours after the relevant time.]

F8(9)If the person arrested is not in a fit state to be dealt with under subsection (7) above, he may be kept in police detention until he is.

(10)The duty imposed on the custody officer under subsection (1) above 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.

F9(11). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F9(12). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F9(13). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F9(14). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(15)In this Part of this Act—

  • arrested juvenile” means a person arrested with or without a warrant who appears to be under the age of 17 F10 . . .;

  • endorsed for bail” means endorsed with a direction for bail in accordance with section 117(2) of the M1Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 37(1)(b) and the word "or" preceeding it repealed (10.4.1995) by 1994 c. 33, ss. 29(4)(a)(5), 168(3), Sch.11; S.I. 1995/721, art. 2, Sch. AppendixB

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Ss. 8, 9, 15, 16, 17(1)(b(2) (4), 18–20, 21, 22(1)–(4), 28, 29, 30(1)–(4)(a)(5)–(11), 31, 32(1)–(9), 34(1)–(5), 35, 36, 37, 39, 40–44, 50, 51(d), 52, 54, 55, 64(1)–(4)(5)(6), Sch. 1 applied with modifications by S.I. 1985/1800, arts. 3–11, Schs. 1, 2

C2S. 37 modified (2.8.1993) by S.I. 1993/1813, art. 6, Sch. 3 paras. 3(3), 4(4)(a), 5(7)(a), 6(7)(a); s. 37 modified by the said S.I. 1993/1813, art. 6, Sch. 3 paras. 4, 5, 6 as incorporated (with modifications) (1.12.1997) by S.I. 1994/1405, art. 6, Sch. 3 paras. 5, 6, 7

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