Repeal Law To Remove Police Powers to Arrest for All Offences
I submit that the legislation enacted by a former, now utterly disgraced, Home Secretary which gave our Police the power to arrest for any offence at all is being grossly abused by some officers and should be repealed forthwith.
Prior to the bringing into force of this legislation, there were arrestable and non-arrestable offences. I submit that such differentiation should be restored immediately and the powers of Police to arrest be restricted to arrestable offences only, as before.
At the same time, we might give due consideration to further clarity on the so-called 'necessity to arrest' and the grounds upon which arrest can be deemed necessary.
Why does this idea matter?
It is my own view that the importancve here lies in the fact that there are many offences which do not necessitate arrest. Moreover, I believe that arrest cannot possibly be held as necessary in circumstances where the Police officer making the arrest has made no attempt whatsoever before the arrest to establish the facts upon which he will rely in holding the arrest to have been necessary.
At present, Police officers are free to arrest without any prior investigation at all, relying, in one particular case with which I am familar, upon a complaint made by a man against his neighbour that alleged nothing more than a verbal threat. The arrest was made some 40 days after the alleged incident took place and was made without that officer having even bothered to walk next door to establish the accused party's version of events.
I hold that such law is Draconian and has given the Police powers of arrest that significantly impinge upon the right of a citizen to (a) the presumption of innocence and (b) the right to put his version of events before being arrested in circumstances where that alleged offence is, prima facie, of a verbal and non-violent nature.