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Armed Forces Act 2001

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Entry and search of premises

5Power of judicial officer to authorise entry and search of certain premises

(1)If, on an application made by a service policeman, a judicial officer is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing—

(a)that an offence to which this section applies has been committed, and

(b)that there is on relevant residential premises specified in the application material which is likely to be of substantial value (whether by itself or together with other material) to the investigation of the offence, and

(c)that the material is likely to be relevant evidence, and

(d)that it does not consist of or include items subject to legal privilege, excluded material or special procedure material, and

(e)that any of the conditions specified in subsection (4) applies,

he may issue a warrant authorising a service policeman to enter and search the premises.

(2)This section applies to the following offences—

(a)any offence against section 70 of either of the 1955 Acts or section 42 of the 1957 Act for which the corresponding civil offence is, or if it were committed in England and Wales would be, a serious arrestable offence for the purposes of the 1984 Act;

(b)any offence against section 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32, 37, 48A or 49 of either of the 1955 Acts or against section 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 16, 19 or 20 of the 1957 Act;

(c)any offence specified for the purposes of this subsection in an order made by the Secretary of State;

(d)any offence against either of the 1955 Acts or under the 1957 Act whose commission—

(i)has led to any of the consequences specified in subsection (5), or

(ii)is intended or is likely to lead to any of those consequences.

(3)A service policeman may seize and retain anything for which a search has been authorised under subsection (1).

(4)The conditions mentioned in subsection (1)(e) are—

(a)that it is not practicable to communicate with any person entitled to grant entry to the premises;

(b)that it is practicable to communicate with a person entitled to grant entry to the premises but it is not practicable to communicate with any person entitled to grant access to the evidence;

(c)that entry to the premises will not be granted unless a warrant is produced;

(d)in the case of service living accommodation falling within section 15(1)(b) or (c), that the person for whom it is provided will not agree to grant access to it unless a warrant is produced or that it is not practicable to communicate with him;

(e)that the purpose of a search may be frustrated or seriously prejudiced unless a service policeman arriving at the premises can secure immediate entry to them.

(5)The consequences mentioned in subsection (2)(d)(i) are—

(a)serious harm to the security of the State or to public order;

(b)serious interference with the administration of justice or with the investigation of offences or of a particular offence;

(c)the death of any person;

(d)serious injury to any person;

(e)substantial financial gain to any person;

(f)serious financial loss to any person;

(g)the undermining of discipline or morale among members of any of Her Majesty’s forces.

(6)In subsection (5)(d) “injury” includes any disease and any impairment of a person’s physical or mental condition.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (5)(f), loss is serious if, having regard to all the circumstances, it is serious for the person who suffers it.

(8)In this section “relevant residential premises” means—

(a)service living accommodation, or

(b)other premises occupied as a residence (alone or with other persons) by—

(i)a person who is subject to service law, or

(ii)a person who is suspected of having committed while subject to service law an offence in relation to which the warrant is sought.

(9)In this section “relevant evidence”, in relation to an offence, means anything that would be admissible in evidence at a trial for the offence.

(10)The Secretary of State may by order—

(a)authorise the use, in connection with any application to a judicial officer for a warrant under this section, of live television links or similar arrangements, and

(b)make provision, in relation to warrants issued under this section to service policemen or entry and search under such a warrant, which is equivalent to that made by any provision of sections 15 and 16 of the 1984 Act (which relate to the issue to constables of warrants to enter and search premises), subject to such modifications as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

6Special provisions as to access

(1)The Secretary of State may by order enable a service policeman to obtain access to excluded material or special procedure material on relevant residential premises, for the purposes of an investigation of an offence to which section 5 applies, by making an application in accordance with the order to a judicial officer.

(2)An order under this section may, in particular—

(a)provide for any provision of Schedule 1 to the 1984 Act (which relates to applications by constables to circuit judges for access to excluded material or special procedure material) to apply with specified modifications for the purposes of the order, and

(b)authorise the use, in connection with any application made by virtue of the order, of live television links or similar arrangements.

(3)In this section “relevant residential premises” has the same meaning as in section 5.

7Power of commanding officer to authorise entry and search of certain premises

(1)If an officer has reasonable grounds for believing—

(a)that the conditions specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of section 5(1) are satisfied in relation to—

(i)service living accommodation of a person as respects whom the officer is commanding officer, or

(ii)other premises occupied as a residence (alone or with other persons) by a person who is subject to service law and as respects whom the officer is commanding officer, and

(b)that it is likely that, if no search could be carried out before the earliest time by which it would be practicable—

(i)for a service policeman to obtain and execute a warrant under section 5 authorising the entry and search of the premises, or

(ii)in a case where a member of a United Kingdom police force could obtain a warrant under section 8 of the 1984 Act or any other enactment authorising the entry and search of the premises, for a member of such a force to obtain such a warrant,

the purpose of the search would be frustrated or seriously prejudiced,

the officer may authorise a service policeman or, subject to subsection (2), any other member of Her Majesty’s forces to enter and search the premises.

(2)An officer may not authorise a person other than a service policeman to exercise the powers conferred by subsection (1) unless—

(a)the premises to be searched consist of service living accommodation falling within section 15(1)(b) or (c), and

(b)it is likely that, if no search could be carried out before the earliest time by which it would be practicable to obtain the assistance of a service policeman, the purpose of the search would be frustrated or seriously prejudiced.

(3)Subject to section 8, a person authorised under subsection (1) may seize and retain anything for which the search under this section was authorised.

8Review by judicial officer

(1)Where any property has been seized and retained during a search under section 7, the officer who authorised the search must as soon as practicable request a judicial officer to undertake a review of the search and of the seizure and retention of anything seized and retained during it.

(2)In relation to a review under this section, a judicial officer shall have such powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State by order.

9Entry for purpose of arrest etc

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, a service policeman may enter and search any relevant residential premises for the purpose—

(a)of arresting a person under any of the services Acts, or

(b)of saving life or limb or preventing serious damage to property.

(2)In subsection (1) “relevant residential premises” means—

(a)service living accommodation, or

(b)other premises occupied as a residence (alone or with other persons) by a person who is subject to service law.

(3)Subject to the following provisions of this section and without prejudice to any other enactment, a service policeman may enter and search any premises which are occupied as a residence (alone or with other persons) by a person to whom this subsection applies, for the purpose of arresting that person under any of the services Acts.

(4)Subsection (3) applies to a person in relation to whom the power of arrest under any of the services Acts is exercisable only by virtue of section 131 of each of the 1955 Acts or section 51 of the 1957 Act.

(5)Except for the purpose specified in paragraph (b) of subsection (1), the powers of entry and search conferred by this section—

(a)are only exercisable if the service policeman has reasonable grounds for believing that the person whom he is seeking is on the premises, and

(b)are limited, in relation to premises consisting of two or more separate dwellings, to powers to enter and search—

(i)any parts of the premises which the occupiers of any dwelling comprised in the premises use in common with the occupiers of any other such dwelling, and

(ii)any such dwelling in which the service policeman has reasonable grounds for believing that the person whom he is seeking may be.

(6)The power of search conferred by this section is only a power to search to the extent that is reasonably required for the purpose for which the power of entry is exercised.

(7)Subject to subsections (8) and (9), an officer may authorise a member of Her Majesty’s forces who is not a service policeman to exercise, in relation to premises consisting of—

(a)service living accommodation of a person as respects whom the officer is commanding officer, or

(b)other premises occupied as a residence (alone or with other persons) by a person who is subject to service law and as respects whom the officer is commanding officer,

the powers conferred by subsection (1) on a service policeman.

(8)An officer may not authorise a person other than a service policeman to exercise the power conferred by subsection (1)(a) unless—

(a)the offence in respect of which the arrest is to be made is an offence to which section 5 applies, and

(b)the officer has reasonable grounds for believing that, if the arrest could not be made before the earliest time by which it would be practicable to obtain—

(i)the assistance of a service policeman, or

(ii)in a case where the powers conferred by section 17(1)(b) or (c) of the 1984 Act (entry for purposes of arrest) are exercisable by a member of a United Kingdom police force, the assistance of a member of such a force capable of exercising them,

the person to be arrested might evade arrest, conceal, damage, alter or destroy evidence or be a danger to himself or to others, or discipline or morale among members of any of Her Majesty’s forces might be undermined.

(9)An officer may not authorise a person other than a service policeman to exercise the power conferred by subsection (1)(b) in relation to premises falling within subsection (2)(b) unless it is not practicable to obtain the assistance of a service policeman in time to take the necessary action to save life or limb or prevent serious damage to property.

(10)The Defence Council may by regulations provide for the delegation by a commanding officer of his functions under this section.

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