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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Miscellaneous and ancillary powers
Section 255: Power to record evidence of offences

664.This section provides enforcement officers with powers to use any device to take visual images of anything connected with the relevant premises for evidence in the investigation of a suspected offence. Subsection (2) describes where the power may be used and subsection (3) enables the officer to require a person who has some control in that situation to help them.

Section 256: Power to require name and address

665.If the officer believes someone has committed an offence, that person may be required to give the officer their name and address.

Section 257: Power to require production of licence, etc

666.If the officer believes someone has been undertaking an activity which needs a licence, permit, etc., the officer may require that person to show that licence. Subsection (2) allows the person to produce the licence later should they be unable to produce it if they do not have it on them at the time the officer demanded it.

Section 258: Power to require attendance of certain persons

667.Where an officer has boarded a vessel or marine structure or entered any premises he may require the attendance of those persons listed.

Section 259: Power to direct vessel or marine installation to port

668.This section gives enforcement officers the power to direct a vessel or marine installation to the port they consider to be the nearest convenient port and detain it there. The section only applies in situations where an officer believes that an offence has been committed and it would not be practical to carry out their duties without first taking the vessel or marine installation to port and detaining it there, or where the officer believes that the vessel itself is evidence of the commission of an offence and the only way to preserve the evidence is to take it into port.

669.A convenient port may not be the nearest in terms just of distance, but may be, for example, the nearest one able to take the size of vessel, provide a berth or suitable storage facilities. The officer may take the vessel or installation there themselves, or arrange for someone else to take it, or require the person in charge of it to take it into port. For instance, arrangements may be made for a local pilot to take the vessel into port.

670.Subsection (3) provides that once the vessel or marine installation is in port, the officer may detain it or require the person in charge to do so.

671.Subsections (4) to (7) provide that enforcement officers are obliged to issue a written notice of detention to the person in charge of the vessel or marine installation. The notice must state that the vessel or marine installation will be detained until such time as the notice is withdrawn. The notice served under this subsection may be withdrawn by another written notice signed by an enforcement officer of the same authority as that of the enforcement officer who originally detained the vessel.

672.The power granted in this section is different from the power granted in section 279. That section provides for the detention of fishing vessels in relation to court proceedings. Detention of a vessel under section 259 may be performed for investigation purposes only.

Section 260: Assistance etc

673.This section enables enforcement officers to take other people and anything necessary (including equipment and materials) to assist them in their duties. These powers apply wherever the enforcement officer may be. Their assistants could include specialists, for example a vet if the officer is exercising his powers in order to enforce wildlife legislation. Anybody brought by the enforcement officer to assist may exercise any powers under the Act which the officer may exercise, but only under the officer’s supervision or direction.

Section 261: Power to use reasonable force

674.This section allows enforcement officers and their assistants to use reasonable force wherever necessary to carry out their functions under the Act. Reasonable force might be needed to prevent documents being thrown overboard, for example.

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