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Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2003

Part 3:  Escort Officers

102.This Part covers escort powers. It includes powers enabling designated police support staff and contracted-out staff to transport arrested persons to police stations. It also allows designated civilians to escort detained persons from one police station to another or between police stations and other locations specified by the custody officer.

103.Paragraph 22 enables a suitably designated person to carry out the duty of taking a person arrested by a constable to a police station as soon as practicable. That must be a designated station (i.e. a main station equipped for holding detainees) unless the person is working in an area not covered by such a station and it appears that it will not be necessary to hold the arrestee for more than six hours. The designated person may delay removal to a police station if the arrestee is required elsewhere for immediate investigative purposes. A designated person using powers under this paragraph is regarded as having the arrestee in lawful custody. He has a duty to prevent the arrestee’s escape and is entitled to use reasonable force to prevent this. He also has the power to carry out non-intimate searches of the arrestee and to seize anything found as a result of such a search.

104.Paragraph 23 enables a suitably designated person, with the authority of the custody officer, to escort detainees between police stations or between police stations and other specified locations. Once again, a designated person using powers under this paragraph is regarded as having the detainee in lawful custody. He has a duty to prevent escape and is entitled to use reasonable force to prevent this. He is also entitled to carry out non-intimate searches. Where the custody officer transfers a detainee to a designated person under these provisions, the designated person becomes responsible for ensuring that the detainee is treated in accordance with the 1989 Order and codes of practice.

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