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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Section 132: Entry and search of premises following arrest

373.This section inserts a new section 28E into the 1971 Act. It provides that where someone has been arrested for an offence under Part III of the 1971 Act, and the arrest was made somewhere other than at a police station, an immigration officer may enter and search the premises in which the person was when arrested – or any premises in which he was immediately before he was arrested – for evidence relating to the offence for which the arrest was made. This power of entry and search may only be exercised if the immigration officer has reasonable grounds for believing that there is relevant evidence on the premises and only to the extent that it is reasonably required for the purposes of discovering such evidence (subsection (3)).

374.Subsection (5) allows an officer searching premises under this section to seize and retain anything he finds which he has reasonable grounds for believing is relevant evidence. However, he may not seize such items where there are reasonable grounds for believing that they are subject to legal privilege (subsection (6)).

375.The section also amends Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act by adding a new paragraph 25A which provides a corresponding power of entry and search where someone is arrested under that Schedule or is detained under that Schedule by an immigration officer having been arrested by a constable. Thus, an immigration officer will have the power, with the written consent of a senior immigration officer (except where obtaining such consent would impede the effectiveness of the search), to enter any premises occupied or controlled by the arrested person or in which that person was when he was arrested or immediately before he was arrested in order to search for “relevant documents”. The officer may seize and retain any documents which he has reasonable grounds for believing are such documents, subject again to his not being able to do this where there are reasonable grounds for believing the documents in question are items subject to legal privilege. (“Relevant documents” for the purposes of this paragraph are any documents which might establish the identity, nationality or citizenship of the arrested person or indicate the place from which he has travelled to the United Kingdom or to which he is proposing to go.) Any documents seized may not be retained for longer than is necessary in view of the purpose for which the person was arrested.

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