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The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Application to the Armed Forces) Order 2006

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order)

This Order applies Part V of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (“the 1984 Act”), subject to the modifications shown in the Schedule, to investigations conducted by service policemen. Section 54 of the 1984 Act requires a service policeman to establish what an arrested person has with him and provides for seizure and retention of things found. It gives the grounds on which clothing and personal effects may be seized, provides for the search of persons in service custody and requires that reasons for the search will normally be given. Section 54A provides in specified circumstances for the examination of arrested persons for marks to establish identity. Authorisation must have been given by a service policeman of specified rank and a photograph may be taken of any mark found.

Section 55 permits a service policeman of specified rank to authorise intimate searches of persons under arrest. There must be reasonable grounds for believing that the person in arrest has something with him that he may use to cause injury or that he has a Class A drug which he intended to supply. The paragraph includes procedural requirements as to the authorisation of searches, the giving of consent, the persons who may conduct the search and as to the written records which must be made. It provides for the seizure and retention of items found. Section 55A permits a service policeman of specified rank to authorise the x-ray or ultrasound examination of a person in arrest who is reasonably believed to have swallowed a class A drug which he previously intended to supply to another. Consent is required but refusal of consent may give rise to the drawing of adverse inferences in subsequent proceedings if appropriate.

Section 56 gives a person in service custody the right, exercisable within a specified period, to have a friend, relative or someone else informed of the fact of his arrest and where he is being detained. It specifies limited grounds on which the exercise of the right can be delayed and stipulates who may authorise such delay. Delay is no longer permissible when the ground for it ceases to apply. The right recurs if the person in arrest is moved elsewhere. Section 58 grants persons being held in service custody the right to request access to legal advice. Such a request must be granted unless a service policeman of specified rank believes that a listed ground for delay exists. At any event, access must be granted within 36 hours of arrest. Delay is no longer permissible when the reason for it has ceased to exist.

Section 61 provides for the taking of fingerprints from a person by the service police with written consent from him or, as the case may be, from his parent or guardian. It also permits a service policeman to take fingerprints without consent from persons in custody before or after charge. In the latter case the person must be given a reason for fingerprinting and must be told that his prints may be used for a speculative search; a service policeman must put these details into a written record. Section 61A permits the taking of impressions of a person’s footwear with, and in certain circumstances without, his consent. If the impression is taken at a service police establishment, whether with or without consent, it may be used thereafter for a speculative search and the person must be informed of this.

Section 62 requires a service policeman to obtain authorisation from a service policeman of specified rank and the consent of the individual before an intimate sample may be taken and specifies who may obtain the sample. It stipulates the conditions that must be met before authorisation can be given and requires that the authorisation, the grounds on which it was given and the consent be recorded in writing. The suspect must be told that the sample may be used for a speculative search; a service policeman must record in writing that he has so informed the suspect. If the suspect refuses to provide the sample, adverse inferences may if appropriate be drawn.

Section 63 provides for the obtaining of non-intimate samples with written consent. Such samples may also, subject to certain conditions, be obtained without consent from persons under arrest for, charged with or convicted of a recordable service offence. Where the person is in arrest before charge, the authority of a service policeman of specified rank is required and the section states the grounds on which that authority may be given and how it is to be recorded. The person required to give the sample must be told of the authorisation and the grounds for it. Such samples may also be obtained from persons who have been made the subject of a hospital order.

Section 63A permits the checking of fingerprints, samples and footwear impressions obtained from persons arrested or reported for a recordable service offence, or information derived from such samples, against fingerprints, samples, footwear impressions or information held by other law enforcement authorities. If the person has not been arrested for or charged with such an offence, his fingerprints, sample, footwear impressions or associated information may only be checked in this way if he has given written consent which, once given, may not be withdrawn. The section also gives a service policeman the power to require a person charged with a recordable service offence who is not in service custody to attend a service police establishment to provide a sample if certain conditions are met. The time for complying with the requirement is specified and a service policeman may arrest without warrant a person who fails to comply.

Section 64 requires the destruction of fingerprints, footwear impressions or samples as soon as they have fulfilled their purpose if the individual is not suspected of having committed the offence. Where he is so suspected, or where he has been convicted of the offence, fingerprints and samples can be retained but may only be used for limited purposes listed in the section. If the person is entitled to the destruction of the fingerprints, footwear impressions or sample, they may not be used in evidence or during investigations and the person can witness the destruction or receive a certificate confirming that destruction has taken place. A person may, however, consent to the retention by the service police of his fingerprints or sample.

Under section 64A, a service policeman may photograph persons held in service custody with or without consent. Items worn on the head or face may be removed for this purpose. Such photographs may be used by or disclosed to any person for purposes related to the investigation of offences under the service discipline Acts.

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