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Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016

Powers of police
Section 45 – Use of reasonable force

144.Section 45 enables a constable to use reasonable force to effect an arrest and when taking a person in custody to any place.

Section 46 – Common law power of entry

145.Section 46 makes clear that any existing powers of a constable to enter any premises for any purposes are not affected by this Act. Those powers remain.

Section 47 – Common law power of search etc.

146.Section 47(1) similarly preserves any existing powers of a constable in relation to a person arrested and charged, for example, to search them, seize items in their possession and place them in an identification parade (this list is not exhaustive).

Section 48 – Power of search etc. on arrest

147.Section 48 makes clear that the powers described in section 47(2) which can be exercised by a constable in relation to a person after arrest and charge can also be exercised between a person’s arrest and the person being charged.

Section 49 – Taking drunk persons to designated place

148.Section 49(1) allows the police to take a person who is deemed to be drunk to a designated place (as designated by the Scottish Ministers) to be cared for instead of arresting the person for an offence. By using this power it does not, however, require the person to remain unwillingly at such a place nor does it prevent a constable from subsequently arresting the person.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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