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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Section 131: Transit of prisoners

706.Section 131 inserts new sections 6A, 6B, 6C and 6D into the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984.  These new sections will enable  the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands or countries with which the UK has prisoner transfer arrangements to transfer, via an airport or port in England, Wales or Scotland,  a prisoner serving a sentence of imprisonment to or from a third country, for the purpose of the serving that sentence.

707.New sections 6A and 6B provide the relevant Minister responsible for executing the transit with the power to hold a prisoner who is in transit through England, Wales or Scotland pursuant to prisoner transfer arrangements for as long is reasonable and necessary to enable the transit to take place. They also provides a power to search a prisoner taken into detention for the purpose of transit. They also confer ancillary powers on the Minster to designate any person as having the powers of a constable for the purpose of executing a transit order and confer a power on a constable or any person so designated with a power to arrest the prisoner without warrant should that prisoner escape or be unlawfully at large.

708.New section 6C sets out the procedure to be followed where a prisoner enters the United Kingdom through one jurisdiction and exits through another. Transit may only take place in these circumstances where the relevant Minister in each jurisdiction concerned consents to transit.

709.New section 6D provides a power to detain a prisoner who makes an unscheduled stop in England, Wales or Scotland in the course of being transferred between two other countries or territories, for a period of no more than 72 hours, or until a transit order is issued, as long as the UK has prisoner transfer arrangements with one of those two countries or territories.

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