This Code sets out the principles which guide police officers’ conduct. It does not seek to restrict officers’ discretion: rather, it aims to define the parameters of conduct within which that discretion should be exercised. However, it is important to note that any breach of the principles in this Code may result in action being taken by the organisation, which, in serious cases, could involve dismissal.
This Practice Direction sets out procedures for dealing with crimes of repeat victimisation. The decision as to which classes of crime and or victim that will be subject to these requirements will be a local decision; however consideration should be given to including crimes relating to dwelling house burglary, violence against the person and vulnerable victims.
The Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme was announced by the Home Secretary in her statement to Parliament on 30th April 2014. The principal aims of the Scheme are to achieve greater transparency, community involvement in the use of stop and search powers and to support a more intelligence-led approach, leading to better outcomes, for example, an increase in the stop and search to positive outcome ratio.
A police officer should also advise you, as a suspect of a crime, that your right to legal advice can be exercised at any time during the period of arrest, which is also sometimes referred to as ‘detention’. The police should provide you with a written notice of your rights while attending a police station and advise you of tyour right to provided with a copy of the custody record upon release from detention.
Section 38 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (“Act”) enables chief officers of police to designate any person who is employed by the police authority and is under the direction and control of that chief officer as a ‘community support officer’. The term ‘community support officer’ is widely used to describe a variety of staff from differing agencies fulfilling a community safety function.
People sometimes ask about the status of Police Information Notices (PINs) which the police may issue where there are allegations of harassment. These notices (sometimes called Harassment Warning Notices) are not covered by legislation, and don’t themselves constitute any kind of formal legal action.
According to Ministry of Justice guidelines, cautions are intended to deliver swift and effective justice, reducing the burden on the police and courts, while delivering a suitable deterrent effect. However a review of the system was recently announced after concerns were expressed that too many cautions were being issued to repeat offenders accused of serious offences.