Skilled Information to Police Powers and Seizures

August 31, 2023by Naomi Cramer

Having your property seized by the police is an upsetting and irritating expertise, particularly when you will have respectable considerations about whether or not or not it is possible for you to to get it again. Police seizures can apply to simply about any kind of property, from luxurious garments and wonderful jewelry to cell phones and even pets. If you’re apprehensive your property could be seized as a part of an ongoing investigation, or you’ve truly had issues taken away from you already, this text is for you. Right here, we element the final police powers of seizure and provides breakdowns of guidelines surrounding widespread seizure targets, equivalent to autos, cell phones, property, money, and private gadgets.

What are the final police powers of seizure?

When the police seize property, they’re empowered to take action by a number of items of laws. Typically talking, police might seize property (private gadgets, autos, cell phones, and many others.) as a part of an investigation if they’ve cause to consider that the property is related to that investigation. If they’re investigating a theft, for instance, they could seize the suspect’s automobile if it matches the outline of 1 seen fleeing the scene. The ability to do that comes from Part 19 of the Police and Criminal Proof Act 1984 (PACE).

Beneath Part 19, an officer that’s lawfully on the premises might seize property in the event that they fairly consider that the property has:

  • been obtained in consequence of the fee of an offence; and
  • that it’s essential to seize it with a view to forestall it being hid, misplaced, broken, altered or destroyed.

Equally, the officer might seize property in the event that they fairly consider that:

  • the property is proof in relation to an offence which they’re investigating or some other offence; and
  • that it’s essential to seize it with a view to forestall the proof being hid, misplaced, altered or destroyed.

This provides the police comparatively huge powers to grab no matter gadgets they see slot in a lawful search of your property or premises.

Different items of laws additionally give the police a proper to look and seize your property. Part 352 of the Proceeds of crime Act 2002 (POCA), for instance, permits a choose to subject a search and seizure warrant to an officer within the occasion that an individual is topic to:

  • a confiscation investigation
  • a cash laundering investigation, or
  • a civil restoration investigation.

Beneath Part 352(4)(b) POCA, that warrant would enable police to grab and retain any materials discovered ‘which is more likely to be of considerable worth (whether or not or not by itself) to the investigation for the needs of which the applying is made’. It is a broad ranging energy, and it might imply the police are allowed to take something they assume may very well be associated to the fee or the proceeds of crime, together with private gadgets the place you’ve receipts for his or her respectable buy.

One other provision that’s used extensively is Part 294 of POCA. This pertains to the seizure of money. Beneath that provision, an officer might seize money if they’ve cheap grounds to consider that it’s recoverable property or supposed by any particular person for use in illegal conduct. Observe that the police might seize any amount of money even when they consider solely a part of it’s recoverable or supposed for use illegally. This would possibly occur, for instance, if a suspect has a bag full of money bundles and it’s not practicable on the time of seizure for the officer to rely out the quantity acceptable to the restoration or segregate that which they consider goes for use for illegal conduct. Police might maintain this money initially for 48 hours, and thereafter they need to get hold of permission from a Justice of the Peace to carry it longer.

Police powers to grab proof

The laws talked about above offers police huge ranging powers to grab any property they consider may very well be related to an investigation, together with something they consider may very well be used as proof towards the property proprietor or one other concerned within the investigation.

Police powers to grab autos

The police might seize a automobile in the event that they consider:

  • it’s being utilized in a method that causes alarm, harassment, or misery
  • the driving force is being careless or thoughtless
  • the driving force doesn’t have the suitable licence for the automobile
  • the driving force doesn’t have the suitable insurance coverage for the automobile
  • the automobile is being utilized in a crime, or is meant to be
  • the automobile is the proceeds of crime or has been obtained through proceeds of crime

Within the particular case of police powers to grab untaxed autos, observe that sometimes the automobile will probably be seized and impounded, and you’ll be required to go to the police pound together with your V5C doc and proof that you’ve got taxed it (DVLA web site or Put up Workplace receipt).

Police powers to grab cell phones

As with different property, the police might seize cell phones in the event that they consider that they’re, or comprise, proof that’s related to an investigation, or in the event that they consider it’s getting used or will probably be used within the fee of an illegal act. Likewise, if the cell phone is suspected to be stolen items or different proceeds of crime, or obtained through proceeds of crime, it might be seized.

As soon as seized, the police have intensive powers to look the cellphone, both by viewing knowledge straight on the system or by sending it off for forensic examination.

Police powers to grab cell phones after an accident

A particular case pertains to police powers to grab cell phones after a automotive accident. There was a lot controversy within the Auckland about whether or not the police should seize telephones after each accident, irrespective of how minor. Official steering appears to counsel that the police will not be mandated to take your cellphone after a crash, however the observe seems to be that police will take telephones and so they achieve this claiming it might comprise proof related to the crash (for instance, time stamped textual content messages exhibiting you had been utilizing your cellphone whereas driving).

Police powers to grab money

Broadly talking, the police might seize any amount of money if they believe it’s recoverable or supposed for use in criminality. If the police are seizing money underneath the powers underneath POCA, they could solely seize it if the full quantity is over £1,000.

Police powers to grab luxurious clothes, jewelry, and watches

Luxurious clothes costs are perpetually on the rise, and it’s not unusual for individuals to personal tens and even a whole lot of hundreds of kilos value of luxurious clothes, jewelry, and watches.

Even when obtained fully legally, and even you probably have buy receipts, the police might seize this stuff in sure circumstances. Normally, luxurious clothes, jewelry, and watches are seized as a result of their excessive financial worth means they could have substantial worth in a civil restoration. Likewise, the truth that they’re so costly might point out that they’ve been obtained via crime, or utilizing the proceeds of crime, if different elements of your way of life don’t match the luxurious of the products.

That is controversial, however sadly a typical methodology of reasoning for the police.

Police powers to grab animals

The police might seize any animal in the event that they consider that the animal:

  • must be taken away for welfare causes (for instance, whether it is malnourished or mistreated)
  • is wild, harmful, or unique (if the proprietor is unlicensed)
  • is a part of a broader wildlife crime scheme

Police powers to grab fireworks

The police might seize fireworks in the event that they consider they’re for use in an delinquent method, or if they’re being utilized in a spot or at a time the place it’s unlawful to make use of fireworks. Typically, chances are you’ll not set off fireworks in a public place (together with empty streets), nor anyplace between the hours of 11pm and 7am, except it’s a permitted event (there are time extensions for Bonfire Evening, New 12 months’s Eve, and another festivals).

Police powers to grab alcohol

Unsurprisingly, the police can seize or confiscate alcohol from children (these underneath the age of 18) who’re ingesting in a public place or who show an intention to drink in a public place. The police may additionally seize alcohol from an grownup (these over the age of 18) in the event that they consider that the grownup will provide children with alcohol.

Giant portions of alcohol may additionally point out different prison exercise, equivalent to theft or the working of an unlicensed ingesting institution, and it might even be seized underneath these (and different) circumstances.

The place to get extra assist?

If you’re involved about property being seized, or you’ve already had your property seized and also you need assistance getting it again, get in contact with the workforce at Stuart Miller Solicitors right this moment. We have now many years’ value of expertise serving to clients similar to you. Name us right this moment for a free session.


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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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