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    I was wondering how the law differentiates between a search of premises under Sec. 18 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and Sec 32 of that Act? If anyone could help, it would be very much appreciated.
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      (Original post by thomaslewis)
      I was wondering how the law differentiates between a search of premises under Sec. 18 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and Sec 32 of that Act? If anyone could help, it would be very much appreciated.
      I haven't studied these provisions, so I'm not familiar with the subtle nuances, but they sound like two sides of the same coin.

      S.18 deals primarily with premises, so a constable has the power to enter and search premises for evidence relating to an offence*. The "secondary" requirement is that those premises belong to an arrested person.

      S.32, by contrast, focuses on people. A constable can search an individual for things upon his person which might constitute evidence relevant to an offence. However, in certain circumstances*, he can also search "houses", "flats" etc. (i.e. premises) under the control of the arrested person.

      The "common denominator" in both cases (as indicated by an asterisk (*)) is that the offence for which the person was arrested must be an indictable offence.

      Hope this helps.
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      (Original post by Tortious)
      I haven't studied these provisions, so I'm not familiar with the subtle nuances, but they sound like two sides of the same coin.

      S.18 deals primarily with premises, so a constable has the power to enter and search premises for evidence relating to an offence*. The "secondary" requirement is that those premises belong to an arrested person.

      S.32, by contrast, focuses on people. A constable can search an individual for things upon his person which might constitute evidence relevant to an offence. However, in certain circumstances*, he can also search "houses", "flats" etc. (i.e. premises) under the control of the arrested person.

      The "common denominator" in both cases (as indicated by an asterisk (*)) is that the offence for which the person was arrested must be an indictable offence.

      Hope this helps.
      This is incorrect I'm afraid.

      You are right to say that the key distinction between the two sections is that one deals with search of premises and the other people; but your understanding of the additional power to search premises given by s.32 is wrong.

      The power of search given by s.18 is of premises "occupied or controlled" by the arrested person. In general this will be the suspect's home. There is no requirement that the suspect be at the premises when he is arrested.

      s.32 does not give a power to search premises under the control of the arrested person (as this would be entirely unnecessary given the power in s.18), but gives a power to search any premises in which the suspect was "when arrested or immediately before he was arrested". This is intended to cover situations where the suspect has entered premises not under his control which need to be searched to secure evidence (for example if a thief has entered a friend's house and hidden the stolen goods).

      There will be many occasions where the two situations overlap (e.g. where the suspect is arrested at home) but this will not always be the case, so the power used does matter. Even where both powers are available, s.18 additionally requires the authorisation, in writing, of an officer of the rank of inspector or above (though see the exception in s.18(5)) whereas s.32 requires no such authorisation. Which power is used will generally therefore be determined by the circumstances of the arrest.

      In summary:

      s.18 - premises occupied or controlled by the arrested person, no need for the suspect to be at the premises at the time of arrest, written authorisation of an inspector required.

      s.32 - premises where the suspect is (or has just been) at the time of arrest, no need for the suspect to have any control over those premises, no authorisation required.
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        (Original post by Bar None)
        This is incorrect I'm afraid.

        You are right to say that the key distinction between the two sections is that one deals with search of premises and the other people; but your understanding of the additional power to search premises given by s.32 is wrong.

        The power of search given by s.18 is of premises "occupied or controlled" by the arrested person. In general this will be the suspect's home. There is no requirement that the suspect be at the premises when he is arrested.

        s.32 does not give a power to search premises under the control of the arrested person (as this would be entirely unnecessary given the power in s.18), but gives a power to search any premises in which the suspect was "when arrested or immediately before he was arrested". This is intended to cover situations where the suspect has entered premises not under his control which need to be searched to secure evidence (for example if a thief has entered a friend's house and hidden the stolen goods).

        There will be many occasions where the two situations overlap (e.g. where the suspect is arrested at home) but this will not always be the case, so the power used does matter. Even where both powers are available, s.18 additionally requires the authorisation, in writing, of an officer of the rank of inspector or above (though see the exception in s.18(5)) whereas s.32 requires no such authorisation. Which power is used will generally therefore be determined by the circumstances of the arrest.

        In summary:

        s.18 - premises occupied or controlled by the arrested person, no need for the suspect to be at the premises at the time of arrest, written authorisation of an inspector required.

        s.32 - premises where the suspect is (or has just been) at the time of arrest, no need for the suspect to have any control over those premises, no authorisation required.
        Thanks for the heads up - thankfully I've never needed such detailed knowledge of these provisions before now, but hopefully it'll come in handy! :yy:
       
       
       
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