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Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1991

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

44Right to have someone informed of detention under terrorism provisions

(1)A person who is detained under the terrorism provisions and is being held in police custody shall be entitled, if he so requests, to have one friend or relative or other person who is known to him or is likely to take an interest in his welfare told that he is being detained under those provisions and where he is being held in police custody.

(2)A person shall be informed of the right conferred on him by subsection (1) above as soon as practicable after he has become a person to whom that subsection applies.

(3)A request made by a person under subsection (1) above, and the time at which it is made, shall be recorded in writing.

(4)If a person makes such a request, it must be complied with as soon as is practicable except to the extent that any delay is permitted by this section.

(5)Any delay in complying with such a request is only permitted if—

(a)it is authorised by an officer of at least the rank of superintendent; and

(b)it does not extend beyond the end of the period referred to in subsection (6) below.

(6)That period is—

(a)except where paragraph (b) below applies, the period of forty-eight hours beginning with the time when the detained person was first detained under the terrorism provisions;

(b)where the detained person was, prior to the time when he was first so detained, being examined in accordance with paragraph 2 of Schedule 5 to the [1989 c. 4.] Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989, the period of forty-eight hours beginning with the time when he was first so examined.

(7)An officer may give an authorisation under subsection (5) above orally or in writing but, if he gives it orally, he shall confirm it in writing as soon as is practicable.

(8)An officer may only authorise a delay in complying with a request under subsection (1) above where he has reasonable grounds for believing that telling the person named in the request of the detention of the detained person—

(a)will lead to interference with or harm to evidence connected with a scheduled offence or interference with or physical injury to any person; or

(b)will lead to the alerting of any person suspected of having committed such an offence but not yet arrested for it; or

(c)will hinder the recovery of any property obtained as a result of such an offence; or

(d)will lead to interference with the gathering of information about the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism; or

(e)by alerting any person, will make it more difficult—

(i)to prevent an act of terrorism; or

(ii)to secure the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of any person in connection with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

(9)If any delay is authorised, then, as soon as is practicable—

(a)the detained person shall be told the reason for authorising it; and

(b)the reason shall be recorded in writing.

(10)Any authorisation under subsection (5) above shall cease to have effect once the reason for giving it ceases to subsist.

(11)The right conferred by subsection (1) above may be exercised by a person to whom that subsection applies on each occasion when he is transferred from one place to another; and this section applies to each subsequent occasion on which that right is so exercised as it applies to the first such occasion.

(12)Subsection (11) above shall not be construed as prejudicing the operation of a request by a person to whom subsection (1) above applies which was made, but not complied with, before he was transferred.

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