The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

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PACE (The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984) is without doubt an important landmark in modern policing. This is as a result of the institution of the legal frame work as regards the powers of police officers in England and Wales in combating crime by the parliament.


Care must however be taken by policemen in the exercise of the powers assigned to them in the Act. This is because non-conformity with the specific terms of the act may bring about a criminal liability and on the other hand searching, arresting, detaining and interviewing suspects outside the provisions of the act may render the evidences produced inadmissible in court.
Perpetrators of serious crimes like murder, treason and the like were being arrested without warrant following an act of parliament in 1967.Further update of the police powers relating to the common law ,particularly as contained in the act of 1967,were carried out by a Royal Commission headed by Sir Cyril Phillips.
Following an upsurge in crime particularly of burglary and robbery in 1981 in the Brixton area, a London-wide campaign was initiated code-named "Operation Swamp 81" picking its name from remarks made in 1978 by the Prime Minister Margareth Thatcher. Consequent on the Act of 1967, 943 were stopped and 118 of them were eventually arrested, the bulk of these people stopped and arrested were blacks .This brought about an increase in the complaints about harassment and racism. Relations between the black community and the police suffered a setback.
Stop and search powers given to the police in the Act of 1984 had a wide ...
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