CoronavirusSee Coronavirus legislation
on legislation.gov.uk
Get Coronavirus guidance from GOV.UK
Additional advice for Scotland | Wales | Northern Ireland

Search Legislation

Police Act 1997

 Help about what version

What Version

 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

Changes to legislation:

There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Police Act 1997. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

View outstanding changes

Changes and effects yet to be applied to Section 93:

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters:

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

Commencement Orders yet to be applied to the Police Act 1997

Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

93 Authorisations to interfere with property etc.U.K.

(1)Where subsection (2) applies, an authorising officer may authorise—

(a)the taking of such action, in respect of such property in the relevant area, as he may specify,

[F1(ab)the taking of such action falling within subsection (1A), in respect of property outside the relevant area, as he may specify, or]

(b)the taking of such action in the relevant area as he may specify, in respect of wireless telegraphy.

[F2(1A)The action falling within this subsection is action for maintaining or retrieving any equipment, apparatus or device the placing or use of which in the relevant area has been authorised under this Part or Part II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 or under any enactment contained in or made under an Act of the Scottish Parliament which makes provision equivalent to that made by Part II of that Act of 2000.

(1B)Subsection (1) applies where the authorising officer is a [F3member of the staff of the Serious Organised Crime Agency,] [F4an officer of Revenue and Customs] [F5or an officer of the Office of Fair Trading] with the omission of—

(a)the words “in the relevant area”, in each place where they occur; and

(b)paragraph (ab).]

(2)This subsection applies where the authorising officer believes—

(a)that it is necessary for the action specified to be taken [F6for the purpose of preventing or detecting] serious crime, and

[F7(b)that the taking of the action is proportionate to what the action seeks to achieve.]

[F8(2A)Subsection (2) applies where the authorising officer is the Chief Constable or the Deputy Chief Constable of the [F9Police Service of Northern Ireland] as if the reference in subsection (2)(a) to preventing or detecting serious crime included a reference to the interests of national security.

[F10(2AA)Where the authorising officer is the chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, the only purpose falling within subsection (2)(a) is the purpose of preventing or detecting an offence under section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002.]

(2B)The matters to be taken into account in considering whether the requirements of subsection (2) are satisfied in the case of any authorisation shall include whether what it is thought necessary to achieve by the authorised action could reasonably be achieved by other means.]

(3)An authorising officer shall not give an authorisation under this section except on an application made—

[F11(za)if the authorising officer is within subsection (5)(a) to (c)—

(i)by a member of the officer's police force; or

(ii)in a case where the chief officer of police of that force (“the authorising force”) has made an agreement under section 23(1) of the Police Act 1996 with the chief officer of police of one or more other police forces, by a member of a collaborative force;]

(a)if the authorising officer is within [F12subsection (5)(d)] to [F13(ea) or (ee)], by a member of his police force,

[F14(aa)if the authorising officer is within subsection (5)(eb) to (ed), by a member, as the case may be, of the [F15Royal Navy Police], the Royal Military Police or the Royal Air Force Police;]

[F16(b)if the authorising officer is within subsection (5)(f), by a member of the staff of the Serious Organised Crime Agency,]

(d)if the authorising officer is within subsection (5)(h), by [F17an officer of Revenue and Customs] [F18, or

(e)if the authorising officer is within subsection (5)(i), by an officer of the Office of Fair Trading.]

[F19(f)if the authorising officer is within subsection (5)(j), by a police member of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency appointed in accordance with paragraph 7 of schedule 2 to the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 (asp 10).]

[F20(3A)For the purposes of subsection (3)(za)(ii)—

(a)a police force is a collaborative force if—

(i)its chief officer of police is a party to the agreement mentioned in that provision; and

(ii)its members are permitted by the terms of the agreement to make applications for authorisations under this section to the authorising officer of the authorising force; and

(b)a reference to a police force is to the following—

(i)any police force maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996 (police forces in England and Wales outside London);

(ii)the metropolitan police force; and

(iii)the City of London police force.]

(4)For the purposes of subsection (2), conduct which constitutes one or more offences shall be regarded as serious crime if, and only if,—

(a)it involves the use of violence, results in substantial financial gain or is conduct by a large number of persons in pursuit of a common purpose, or

(b)the offence or one of the offences is an offence for which a person who has attained the age of twenty-one and has no previous convictions could reasonably be expected to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three years or more,

and, where the authorising officer is within subsection (5)(h), it relates to an assigned matter within the meaning of section 1(1) of the M1Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

(5)In this section “authorising officer” means—

(a)the chief constable of a police force maintained under section 2 of the M2Police Act 1996 (maintenance of police forces for areas in England and Wales except London);

(b)the Commissioner, or an Assistant Commissioner, of Police of the Metropolis;

(c)the Commissioner of Police for the City of London;

(d)the chief constable of a police force maintained under or by virtue of section 1 of the M3Police (Scotland) Act 1967 (maintenance of police forces for areas in Scotland);

(e)the Chief Constable or a Deputy Chief Constable of the [F9Police Service of Northern Ireland];

[F21(ea)the Chief Constable of the Ministry of Defence Police;

(eb)the Provost Marshal of the [F22Royal Navy Police];

(ec)the Provost Marshal of the Royal Military Police;

(ed)the Provost Marshal of the Royal Air Force Police;

(ee)the Chief Constable of the F23British Transport Police;]

[F24(f)the Director General of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, or any member of the staff of that Agency who is designated for the purposes of this paragraph by that Director General;]

[F25(h)an officer of Revenue and Customs who is a senior official within the meaning of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and who is designated for the purposes of this paragraph by the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs;]

[F26(i) the chairman of the Office of Fair Trading.]

[F27(j)the Director General of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency.]

(6)In this section “relevant area”—

(a)in relation to a person within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (5) [F28to whom an application is made by virtue of subsection (3)(za)(i)], means the area in England and Wales for which his police force is maintained;

[F29(aa)in relation to a person within any of those paragraphs to whom an application is made by virtue of subsection (3)(za)(ii), means the area in England and Wales—

(i)for which any collaborative force (within the meaning of subsection (3A)) is maintained; and

(ii)which is specified in relation to members of that force in the agreement mentioned in subsection (3)(za)(ii);]

(b)in relation to a person within paragraph (d) of [F30subsection (5)] means the area in Scotland for which his police force is maintained;

(c)in relation to a person within paragraph (e) of that subsection, means Northern Ireland;

[F31(ca)in relation to a person within paragraph (ea), means any place where, under section 2 of the M4Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987, the members of the Ministry of Defence Police have the powers and privileges of a constable;

(cb)in relation to a person within paragraph (ee), means the United Kingdom;]

[F32(cc)in relation to the Director General of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, means Scotland,]

F33(d). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F34(e). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F35(f). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and in each case includes the adjacent United Kingdom waters.

[F36(6A)For the purposes of any authorisation by a person within paragraph (eb), (ec) or (ed) of subsection (5) property is in the relevant area or action in respect of wireless telegraphy is taken in the relevant area if, as the case may be—

(a)the property is owned, occupied, in the possession of or being used by a person [F37who is subject to service law or is a civilian subject to service discipline]; or

(b)the action is taken in relation to the use of wireless telegraphy by such a person.

[F38(6B)In subsection (6A) “subject to service law” and “civilian subject to service discipline” have the same meanings as in the Armed Forces Act 2006.]

(7)The powers conferred by, or by virtue of, this section are additional to any other powers which a person has as a constable either at common law or under or by virtue of any other enactment and are not to be taken to affect any of those other powers.]

Textual Amendments

F1S. 93(1)(ab) substituted for word “or” (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 75(2) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F2S. 93(1A)(1B) inserted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 75(3) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F4Words in s. 93(1B) substituted (15.2.2008) by Serious Crime Act 2007 (c. 27), s. 94(1), Sch. 12 para. 1(a); S.I. 2008/219, art. 2(b)

F5Words in s. 93(1B) inserted (20.6.2003) by Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40), ss. 200(2)(a), 279; S.I. 2003/1397, art. 2(1), Sch.

F6Words in s. 93(2)(a) substituted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 75(4)(a) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F7S. 93(2)(b) substituted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 75(4)(b) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F8S. 93(2A)(2B) inserted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 75(5) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F9Words in s. 93(2A)(5)(e) substituted (4.11.2001) by 2000 c. 32, s. 78(1), Sch. 6 para. 20(2)(b); S.R. 2001/396, art. 2, Sch.

F13Words in s. 93(3)(a) substituted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 82(1), Sch. 4 para. 8(2)(a) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F14S. 93(3)(aa) inserted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 82, Sch. 4 para. 8(2)(b) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F15Words in s. 93(3)(aa) substituted (4.6.2007) by Armed Forces Act 2006 (c. 52), s. 383(2), Sch. 16 para. 146(2); S.I. 2007/1442, art. 2(1)

F17Words in s. 93(3)(d) substituted (15.2.2008) by Serious Crime Act 2007 (c. 27), s. 94(1), Sch. 12 para. 1(b); S.I. 2008/219, art. 2(b)

F18S. 93(3)(e) and word inserted (20.6.2003) by Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40), ss. 200(2)(c), 279; S.I. 2003/1397, art. 2(1), Sch.

F21S. 93(5)(ea)-(ee) inserted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 75(6)(a) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F22Words in s. 93(5)(eb) substituted (4.6.2007) by Armed Forces Act 2006 (c. 52), s. 383(2), Sch. 16 para. 146(3); S.I. 2007/1442, art. 2(1)

F31S. 93(6)(ca)(cb) inserted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 75(7) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F35S. 93(6)(f) and the word “and” immediately preceding it repealed (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 82(2), Sch. 5 (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F36S. 93(6A)(6B) inserted (25.9.2000) by 2000 c. 23, s. 75(8) (with s. 82(3)); S.I. 2000/2543, art. 2

F37Words in s. 93(6A)(a) substituted (28.3.2009 for specified purposes, 31.10.2009 in so far as not already in force) by Armed Forces Act 2006 (c. 52), s. 383(2), Sch. 16 para. 146(4); S.I. 2009/812, art. 3(a)(b) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059); S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

F38S. 93(6B) substituted (28.3.2009 for specified purposes, 31.10.2009 in so far as not already in force) by Armed Forces Act 2006 (c. 52), s. 383(2), Sch. 16 para. 146(5); S.I. 2009/812, art. 3(a)(b) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059); S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 93 amended (S.) (29.9.2000) by 2000 asp 11, s. 23(5) (with s. 30); S.S.I. 2000/341, art. 2

Marginal Citations

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open Schedules only

The Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different points in time where a change occurred. The dates will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. The first date in the timeline will usually be the earliest date when the provision came into force. In some cases the first date is 01/02/1991 (or for Northern Ireland legislation 01/01/2006). This date is our basedate. No versions before this date are available. For further information see the Editorial Practice Guide and Glossary under Help.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources