What legal powers do the police have to take


Fingerprinting refers to any record produced by any method, of the tegument form and other physical features or characteristics of a person’s fingers or thenars. The process and extent of legal powers that can be exercised by constabulary officers are governed by Paragraph 4 of Code D of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 ( herein known as PACE ) . There are fortunes whereby fingerprints may be obtained from a individual without their consent, but normally consent will be required.

Where the individual is at the constabulary station, consent must be obtained in composing. Section 61 of PACE, provides powers to take fingerprints without consent from any individual over the age of 10 old ages. In a state of affairs where a individual is detained at the constabulary station, authorization to obtain fingerprints without consent must be given by an officer of at least the rank of an inspector. The relevant officer must so hold sensible evidences for surmising that the individual is involved in a condemnable offense and for believing that their fingerprints will be given to turn out or confute engagement, or aid in set uping their individuality, including demoing that they are non a peculiar individual or both. In these fortunes, authorization may non be given entirely to set up the person’s individuality unless they have refused to place themselves or the authorising officer has sensible evidences to surmise that the individual may non be who they claim to be. It is worthy of note that under the Section 61 commissariats, sensible force may be used, if necessary, to take the person’s fingerprints without their consent. A record must be made a s shortly as possible of the ground for taking a person’s fingerprints without consent. If force is used, a record should be made of the fortunes and those present.

Before any fingerprints are taken with or without consent as above the individual must be informed of the ground their fingerprints are to be taken and of the evidences on which the relevant authorization has been given powers to necessitate that they be taken. The individual must besides be told that their fingerprints may be retained and may be capable of bad hunt against other fingerprints.

Equally far as samples are concerned, they are classified under two caputs, viz. an intimate sample and a non-intimate sample. An intimate sample means a dental feeling or sample of blood, seeds or any other tissue fluid, urine, or pubic hair, or a swab taken from a person’s organic structure orifice other than the oral cavity. A non-intimate sample on the other manus refers to samples of hair for case, which includes hair plucked form the root ; a sample taken from a nail or from under a nail ; a swab taken from any portion of a person’s organic structure including the oral cavity but non any other organic structure opening ; spit ; a tegument feeling which means any record, other than fingerprint, which is a record, in any signifier and produced by any method of the tegument form and other physical features or characteristics of the whole, or any portion of, a person’s pes or any portion of their organic structure. The processs regulating both intimate and non-intimate samples differ and will be dealt with in bend.

Section 62 of PACE, provides that confidant samples may merely be taken organize a individual in detainment merely if a police officer of rank of at least an inspector gives authorization for such a sample to be obtained because he has sensible evidences to believe that such an feeling or sample will be given to corroborate or confute the suspect’s engagement in a recordable offense. This must be done with the suspect’s written consent. Where a individual is non under constabularies detainment, an intimate sample may still be obtained where two or more non-intimate samples have been taken in the class of an probe of an offense and the samples though suited, have proved deficient. Again an officer of at least inspector must give his mandate and a written consent must be obtained organize the individual. Dental feelings may merely be taken by a registered tooth doctor and other confidant samples except for samples of urine, may merely be taken by a registered medical practician or registered wellness attention professional.

A non-intimate sample may be taken from a detainee merely with their written consent or in certain fortunes without their consent. The cases where consent is non required include where a individual is in constabulary detention or detainment and an officer of at least an inspector’s rank has sensible evidences to believe that the sample will be given to demo or confute a suspect’s engagement in a recordable offense.


The legal load is a load of cogent evidence, that is a load imposed on a party to turn out a fact or facts in issue. The criterion of cogent evidence required to dispatch the legal load varies harmonizing to whether the load is borne by the prosecution or defense mechanism. If the legal load is borne by the prosecution, the criterion of cogent evidence required is proof beyond sensible uncertainty. If the legal load is borne by the suspect, the criterion required is proof beyond sensible uncertainty. The evidentiary load is non a load of cogent evidence but the load of abducing grounds.


It is unfastened to him to turn out that he is non apt to be convicted of slaying under subdivision 2 of the Homicide Act 1957. Where the defense mechanism of lessened duty is raised, the burden is on the defense mechanism to turn out it on a balance of chances. The legislative act leaves it to the defense mechanism to make up one’s mind whether the issue of lessened duty should be raised ; if, hence, the justice detects grounds of lessened duty but the defense mechanism do non raise the issue, the justice is non bound to direct the jury to see the affair, but, at most, should in the absence of the jury draw the affair to the attending of the defense mechanism so that they may make up one’s mind whether they wish the issue to be considered by the jury. The extent of the defendant’s load is to the extent of evidentiary load of cogent evidence [ 1 ] . This therefore does non necessitate the defense mechanism to turn out a legal load that will be a affair for the prosecution.

The load of cogent evidence will be on him and this is non incompatible with the given of artlessness. The load is discharged by set uping the contention on a balance of chances.

Equally far as Jas is concerned, the defense mechanism of aggravation will be relevant in the fortunes. Aggravation was defined inR v. Whitfield 63. Cr.App.R 39at p 932, as some act, or series of Acts of the Apostless done which would do in any sensible individual, and really causes in the suspect, a sudden and impermanent loss of self-denial, rendering the suspect so capable to passion as to do him or her for the minute non maestro of his head. The defense mechanism of aggravation is dealt with by subdivision 3 of the Homicide Act 1957.

Once there is grounds from any beginning sufficient to be left to the jury on the issue of aggravation, the burden remains throughout upon the Crown to turn out absence of aggravation beyond sensible uncertainty. The issue whether the aggravation was such as would do a sensible adult male do as Jas did is to be left to the jury ; and in finding that inquiry the jury shall take into history everything both said and done harmonizing to the consequence which, in their sentiment, it would hold on a sensible adult male. Where, nevertheless there is merely a bad possibility of the accused holding acted as a consequence of arousing behavior, the issue should non be left to the jury. There must be some grounds of specific arousing behavior ensuing in a loss of self-denial that might be brought on by fright, terror or sheer bad pique, every bit good as by arousing behavior.

The justice is merely required to go forth the defense mechanism to the jury merely if there is some grounds, from whatever beginning, suggestive of the sensible possibility that the accused might hold lost his self-denial due to arousing words or behavior, because without some grounds of the specific nature of the aggravation, the jury can non make up one’s mind either the subjective or the nonsubjective status under the Homicide Act, s 3. Once aggravation is raised, the prosecution bear the load of confuting it beyond sensible uncertainty [ 2 ] .


& gt ; From the facts Sunil would hold the possibility of running a defense mechanism of insanity. It will be a affair for Sunil to raise the issue and he will bear the load of turn outing it on a balance of chances. This defense mechanism is covered under subdivision 6 of the Homicide Act 1957. Where this defense mechanism is raised, the tribunal will let the prosecution to abduce or arouse grounds be givening to turn out the other of those contentions, and may give waies as to the phase of the proceedings at which the prosecution may abduce such grounds.

As concerns the issue of fittingness to plead, it is an issue that can be raised either by the prosecution or the defense mechanism. If the Prosecution contend that the accused is under such a disablement and this is disputed by the defense mechanism, the load of cogent evidence is on the prosecution to fulfill the jury beyond sensible uncertainty [ 3 ] . If the defense mechanism contend that the accused is under such a disablement, the load is on the defense mechanism to fulfill the jury on a balance of chances (Podola[ 1960 ] 1 QB 325 ) .


Equally far as Jas and Bez’ instances are concerned they may appeal as of right if the crown tribunal has granted a certification that the instance is fit for entreaty. In all other instances, they will necessitate the leave of the tribunal of entreaty to appeal. Where it concerns an issue of fact, the certification may be granted on the judge’s enterprise at the decision of the test or on counsel’s application. Where advocate makes the application, this will affect him/her outlining the inquiry and the application is made to the justice in Chamberss. For a certification to be issued, it must be shown that there is a cogent and peculiar land of entreaty on which the convicted individual will hold a significant land of wining.

Sunil may appeal to the Crown tribunal or to the High Court by manner of instance stated or judicial reappraisal. An entreaty to the crown tribunal is a right and does non necessitate leave of the tribunal. Where an entreaty is to be made to the Crown tribunal, a notice of entreaty must be in composing to the clerk of the Magistrates’ tribunal and to the prosecuting officer within 21 yearss of sentence being passed. The evidences of Appeal need non be given, although the plaintiff in error may take to province in really general footings why he considers the magistrates’ determination to be incorrect. Provided notice is given within clip no leave to use will be required.

Equally far as both Bez and Jas are concerned, one time an entreaty is unsuccessful, the plaintiff in error is disbarred from conveying a 2nd entreaty in the same affair.

Sunil can appeal to the divisional tribunal by manner of instance stated which is relevant foe entreaties on a point or points of jurisprudence. This includes inquiries associating to the proceedings which is incorrect in the jurisprudence or is in surplus of legal power.

The powers of the Crown tribunal in Sunil’s instance when disposing of an entreaty are extended. It may corroborate, change by reversal or change any portion of the determination appealed against ; it may remit the affair to the magistrates with the sentiment thereon ; or it may do such other order in the affair as it thinks merely.


Allen C. ,Practical Guide to Attest, 2nd Edition Cavendish Publishing 2001

Keane A. , The Modern Law of Evidence, 5ThursdayEdition

Murphy P. ,Potato on Evidence, 8ThursdayEdition, Cambridge University Press

Richardson,Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence and Practice, Sweet and Maxwell 2005

Word Count including footers and bibliography: 1, 995 Wordss.