Chapter 4: Live links
Section 106: Directions to attend through live link
516.Subsection (2) amends section 57B of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, which makes provision for courts to give live link directions for preliminary hearings where the defendant is in custody. The effect of the provision is to enable a single justice of the peace to give or rescind such a direction, thus obviating the need to convene a full court for that purpose.
517.Subsection (3) amends section 57C of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 by removing the requirement for the defendant’s consent to the use of a live link for a preliminary hearing in a magistrates’ court where the defendant is at the police station, whether detained there in connection with the offence or having returned to answer live link bail (subsection (3)(b)). It also adds a requirement for the court to be satisfied that a live link direction would not be contrary to the interests of justice (subsection (3)(a)) and removes the ability of a court to rescind a live link direction before the hearing (subsection (3)(c)).
518.Subsection (4) amends section 57D of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 by removing the requirement for a defendant’s consent to be sentenced by live link where he or she has pleaded guilty at a live link preliminary hearing. The subsection adds a requirement for the court to be satisfied that the defendant continuing to attend through the live link would not be contrary to the interests of justice. The separate requirement for the defendant’s consent if he or she is to give oral evidence at this kind of live link sentencing hearing is also removed.
519.Subsection (5) amends section 57E of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 by removing the need for the defendant’s consent for a live link sentencing hearing where he or she has previously been convicted of the offence and is in custody. The separate requirement for the defendant’s consent if he or she is to give oral evidence at this kind of live link sentencing hearing is also removed.
Section 107: Answering to live link bail
520.This section amends section 46ZA of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (which sets out the circumstances in which a person answering live link bail may be treated as being in police detention), and section 46A(1ZA) of that Act, by making changes that are consequential on the removal of the consent requirement by section 106.
Section 108: Searches of persons answering to live link bail
521.Subsection (1) amends the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 by inserting new sections 54B and 54C giving police the power to search defendants attending the police station for the purposes of answering live link bail. Such searches would at present depend on defendants giving their consent to be searched, as they are not treated as in police detention when they enter a police station in answer to live link bail and the existing powers of search in that Act therefore do not apply to them.
522.Subsections (2) and (3) of new section 54B provide that a constable may seize and retain anything found on the defendant if the constable reasonably believes it may jeopardise the maintenance of order in the station, endanger anyone in the police station, or be evidence relating to an offence. New section 54B(4) provides that a constable may record any or all of the items seized and retained.
523.Subsections (5) and (6) of new section 54B provide that the constable searching must be of the same sex as the defendant and that the constable may not carry out an intimate search.
524.New section 54C(1) provides that anything seized and retained under new section 54B(2) must be returned to the defendant when he or she leaves the police station. However, this is subject to subsections (2) and (3) of new section 54C which provide that items can continue to be retained by a constable:
in order to establish the lawful owner of the item, where there are reasonable grounds for believing that it has been obtained in consequence of the commission of an offence, or
if the item is evidence of or relating to an offence, for use as evidence at trial for an offence or for forensic examination or investigation in connection with an offence unless a photograph or copy of the item would be sufficient for that purpose (new section 54C(4)).
525.New section 54C(5) preserves the power of a court to make an order under section 1 of the Police (Property) Act 1897.
526.Subsection (2) of section 108 inserts new subsection (1ZB) into section 46A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which extends the power of arrest for failure to answer to police bail to include defendants who attend the police station to answer live link bail but refuse to be searched under the new section 54B.
527.Subsection (3) of the section inserts a new paragraph 27A into Part 3 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002, to ensure that designated detention officers, as well as constables, can use the powers in new sections 54B and 54C to search and seize. Where a detention officer exercises the power to seize things found pursuant to a search the officer must deliver the things seized to a constable as soon as practicable and in any case before the person from whom it was seized leaves the police station.
Section 109: Use of live link in certain enforcement hearings
528.Subsection (1) of this section adds a new section 57F to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to permit a live link direction to be given in respect of hearings held to enforce a confiscation order, in much the same way as for preliminary hearings under section 57B of that Act. This will enable enforcement proceedings in respect of confiscation orders made against persons who are in custody having been sentenced for the substantive matter to take place by live link between the prison and the magistrates’ court.
529.Subsection (1) of the new section 57F sets out the conditions for making a live link direction in enforcement proceedings for confiscation orders. Subsection (4) of the new section provides that the direction may be given by the court of its own motion or on application by a party to the proceedings. The court may rescind a live link direction at any time before or during the hearing (new section 57F(5)); the court must allow the parties to the proceedings to make representations before giving or rescinding such a direction (new section 57F(6)), and if the person in respect of whom the order has been made is to give oral evidence at this type of hearing, the court must be satisfied that it is not contrary to the interests of justice for him or her to do so (new section 57F(8)). The powers to give and rescind a direction are exercisable by a single justice of the peace (new section 57F(10)).
530.Subsection (2) makes necessary consequential amendments and defines the types of confiscation order in respect of which a direction under the new section 57F may be given.
Section 110: Direction of registrar for appeal hearing by live link
531.This section permits the power to give a live link direction for hearings in the Court of Appeal to be exercised by the registrar.