Section 4 of UK Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

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Section 4 of UK Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 deals with Road checks

From the Act

(1) This section shall have effect in relation to the conduct of road checks by police officers for the purpose of ascertaining whether a vehicle is carrying—

(a) a person who has committed an offence other than a road traffic offence or a[F9vehicle] excise offence;

(b) a person who is a witness to such an offence;

(c) a person intending to commit such an offence; or

(d) a person who is unlawfully at large.

(2) For the purposes of this section a road check consists of the exercise in a locality ofthe power conferred by [F10section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.] in such a wayas to stop during the period for which its exercise in that way in that locality continuesall vehicles or vehicles selected by any criterion.

(3) Subject to subsection (5) below, there may only be such a road check if a police officerof the rank of superintendent or above authorises it in writing.

(4) An officer may only authorise a road check under subsection (3) above—

(a) for the purpose specified in subsection (1)(a) above, if he has reasonablegrounds—

(i) for believing that the offence is [F11an indictable offence] ; and

(ii) for suspecting that the person is, or is about to be, in the locality inwhich vehicles would be stopped if the road check were authorised;

(b) for the purpose specified in subsection (1)(b) above, if he has reasonablegrounds for believing that the offence is [F11an indictable offence] ;

(c) for the purpose specified in subsection (1)(c) above, if he has reasonablegrounds—

(i) for believing that the offence would be [F11an indictable offence] ; and

(ii) for suspecting that the person is, or is about to be, in the locality inwhich vehicles would be stopped if the road check were authorised;

(d) for the purpose specified in subsection (1)(d) above, if he has reasonablegrounds for suspecting that the person is, or is about to be, in that locality.

(5) An officer below the rank of superintendent may authorise such a road check if itappears to him that it is required as a matter of urgency for one of the purposesspecified in subsection (1) above.

(6) If an authorisation is given under subsection (5) above, it shall be the duty of the officerwho gives it—

(a) to make a written record of the time at which he gives it; and

(b) to cause an officer of the rank of superintendent or above to be informed thatit has been given.

(7) The duties imposed by subsection (6) above shall be performed as soon as it ispracticable to do so.

(8) An officer to whom a report is made under subsection (6) above may, in writing,authorise the road check to continue.

(9) If such an officer considers that the road check should not continue, he shall recordin writing—

(a) the fact that it took place; and

(b) the purpose for which it took place.

(10) An officer giving an authorisation under this section shall specify the locality in whichvehicles are to be stopped.

(11) An officer giving an authorisation under this section, other than an authorisation undersubsection (5) above—

(a) shall specify a period, not exceeding seven days, during which the road checkmay continue; and

(b) may direct that the road check—

(i) shall be continuous; or

(ii) shall be conducted at specified times,

during that period.

(12) If it appears to an officer of the rank of superintendent or above that a road check oughtto continue beyond the period for which it has been authorised he may, from time totime, in writing specify a further period, not exceeding seven days, during which itmay continue.

(13) Every written authorisation shall specify—

(a) the name of the officer giving it;

(b) the purpose of the road check; and

(c) the locality in which vehicles are to be stopped.

(14) The duties to specify the purposes of a road check imposed by subsections (9) and(13) above include duties to specify any relevant [F12indictable offence] .

(15) Where a vehicle is stopped in a road check, the person in charge of the vehicle at thetime when it is stopped shall be entitled to obtain a written statement of the purposeof the road check if he applies for such a statement not later than the end of the periodof twelve months from the day on which the vehicle was stopped.

(16) Nothing in this section affects the exercise by police officers of any power to stopvehicles for purposes other than those specified in subsection (1) above.

Related Sections from the Act

  • Section 1: Power of constable to stop and search persons, vehicles etc.
  • Section 2: Provisions relating to search under section 1 and other powers.
  • Section 3: Duty to make records concerning searches.
  • Section 5: Reports of recorded searches and of road checks.
  • Section 6: Statutory undertakers etc.
  • Section 7: Part I—supplementary