Section 22: Enforcement: power of entry
57.This section gives a constable, or an enforcement officer designated by the ODA, the power to enter land or premises in order to prevent or stop unauthorised advertising as defined in regulations made under section 19. Subsection (1)(a) is drafted in sufficiently broad terms to enable officers to enter land wherever a contravention of the regulations is occurring. This will allow, for example, entry onto land outside of the area where the advertising restrictions apply, if that land is being used to project images into an area where the advertising restrictions do apply. This section provides for immediate enforcement and entry powers, although the intention is that the entry will be gained at a reasonable time (subsection (2)) and after having taken reasonable steps to establish who owns or occupies the land or premises, and to give them the opportunity to deal with the contravention before entry (subsection (3)). Entry into a dwelling would only be permitted under warrant (subsection (4)). Officers will be able to seize items used to breach the regulations in order to stop contraventions or if necessary for evidential purposes. Subsection (6) allows for the application of the Police Property Act (1897) which governs proceedings for the return of seized property. The section also allows the Secretary of State to make regulations for a compensation scheme for any damage caused by any enforcement activity, although a person responsible for a contravention of the regulations will not be entitled to compensation. The definition of ‘infringing article’ in subsection (10)(b) covers advertisements plus other things such as graffiti which may constitute a contravention of the regulations.