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Police and Justice Act 2006

Section 18: Arrest for failing to comply with conditional caution

182.Subsection (1) inserts a new section 24A into Part 3 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 to give a constable a power of arrest without warrant where an offender is suspected of having breached the conditions of a conditional caution without reasonable excuse, in order to enable a quicker, more effective means of facilitating prosecution for the original offence.

183.Where a person is arrested under new section 24A(1), it will be for a prosecutor to determine whether he has failed to comply with the conditions attached to his caution and, if so, whether there was a reasonable excuse for doing so. If the person has failed to comply without a reasonable excuse, he can then be charged with the original offence in respect of which the conditional caution was given (new section 24A(2)(a)). Where further investigations are necessary to establish the circumstances of the suspected non-compliance with conditions, the offender may be released without charge and on bail (new section 24A(2)(b)).

184.Alternatively, the offender can be released without charge and without bail and with or without any variations in the conditions attached to the caution (new section 24A(2)(c)). This course of action could result if the prosecutor determined that there was a reasonable excuse for the non-compliance or that there had been no actual non-compliance.

185.New section 24A(5)(a), read with new section 24A(6), provides that the offender may be kept in police detention in order to be dealt with under section 24A(2). For example, a person might be detained until a relevant prosecutor is available to make a charging decision, or where further investigations are necessary to establish if the person has failed to comply with the conditions attached to the caution.

186.By virtue of new section 24A(3) these procedures also apply where an offender returns to the police station having been bailed for investigation of suspected non-compliance with a condition and in certain other circumstances where the offender is detained by the police.

187.Section 18 also inserts a new section 24B into Part 3 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This provides that certain provisions in PACE apply with the modifications identified to offenders arrested for suspected breach of a conditional caution as they do to offenders arrested in respect of an offence.

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