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Armed Forces Act 2006

Powers of arrest
Section 67: Power of arrest for service offence

158.This section sets out the powers of arrest when it is reasonably suspected that a service offence has been, or is being, committed. It describes who may be arrested and who can exercise the power of arrest. The person making the arrest, or who orders someone else to arrest on his behalf, must reasonably suspect the person to be arrested of being engaged in committing or having committed a service offence. A service policeman may arrest any persons subject to service law, irrespective of rank or rate, and civilians subject to service discipline.

159.Officers, warrant officers or NCOs who are not service policemen may arrest persons of inferior rank or rate who are subject to service law, and officers may arrest civilians subject to service discipline. Officers may also arrest other officers of any rank if they are engaged in a mutiny.

160.Persons who are not service policemen but who are lawfully exercising authority on behalf of a provost officer may arrest persons subject to service law and civilians subject to service discipline. In the maritime environment persons on the staff of the officer of the day (duty officer) may arrest members of a ship’s company or embarked force.

Section 68: Section 67: supplementary

161.This section makes supplementary provisions relating to the powers of arrest. Subsection (2) ensures that section 67(3) will apply to former members of HM Forces. Such a person will be treated for the purposes of section 67(3) as being of the rank or rate which they held when last a member of the forces. Subsection (3) ensures that section 67(4) will apply to a person who is no longer a civilian subject to service discipline but who is suspected of having committed an offence while a civilian subject to service discipline. Subsection (4) ensures that it is a service policeman who must arrest a person in respect of an offence where the consent of the Attorney General is necessary under section 61 to charge the person with that offence.

Section 69: Power of arrest in anticipation of commission of service offence

162.This section provides a service policeman with the power to arrest a person he reasonably suspects of being about to commit a service offence.

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