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Armed Forces Act 2001

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

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

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(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.

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