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Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012

Chapter 15 - Offences

89.This Chapter re-enacts in a modern form the specific offences in the 1967 Act in relation to impeding a member of the police from carrying out their duties. Section 90 makes it an offence to assault a person serving with the Police Service, a member of a police force mentioned in subsection (7) who is executing a warrant or acting under powers conferred on that person in Scotland by any enactment, or a member of an international joint investigation team. It is also an offence to resist, obstruct or hinder them. Section 91 provides for an offence of aiding escape from or removing a person from the custody of a constable of the Police Service, a police custody and security officer, a constable of a police force mentioned in section 90(7) who is executing a warrant or acting under powers conferred on that person in Scotland by any enactment, or a member of an international joint investigation team. Both offences have penalties of imprisonment for up to twelve months and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum on summary conviction, which is unchanged from the 1967 Act.

90.Section 92 makes it an offence for someone who is not a police constable to impersonate a constable with intent to deceive or to do anything calculated to suggest that they are a constable. It is also an offence to possess articles of police clothing without the permission of the SPA (subsection (2)). A person has a defence to a charge under section 92(2) if he or she can prove that the articles of clothing were obtained lawfully and were in the person’s possession for a lawful purpose. Subsection (4) makes it an offence for a person who is not a constable to wear, without the permission of the SPA, an article of police uniform which so nearly resembles that of a constable as to be calculated to deceive. The penalty on summary conviction of an offence under this section is imprisonment of up to three months or a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale which is unchanged from the 1967 Act.

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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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