Arrestable offence

Arrestable offence

Arrestable offence is an obsolete term in English and Welsh law. It was created by the Criminal Law Act 1967 to replace felony. The original legislation was replaced and amended by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, which itself was significantly amended to increase powers of arrest over the next two decades. The 1984 Act also gave police certain powers in relation to these offences including entry to premises, arrest, searches following arrest and certain provisions whilst detained in custody. The concept of the arrestable offence was abolished by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 [s.110] which came into force on 1 January 2006. [ [ Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Commencement No 4 and Transitory Provision) Order 2005] , SI2005/3495, art.2(1)(m)]

Section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 defined an arrestable offence as:
* An offence for which the sentence is fixed by law; i.e. murder.
* Offences for which a person 18 years old or older, who had not previously been convicted, could be sentenced to a term of 5 years or more. This constituted the vast majority of offences, including theft, serious assault, burglary and criminal damage.
* Offences that were listed in Schedule 1A of the Act, which contained a long list of offences that do not attract a 5 year sentence but were considered to require the powers an 'Arrestable Offence' designation confers. Examples included possession of an offensive weapon, ticket touting and driving whilst disqualified.

Section 25 provided further powers of arrest for "non-arrestable offences" in certain circumstances. This had no equivalent in the original 1967 legislation.

With the increasing number of newly created offences being included in Schedule 1A and thus being made arrestable, it was perhaps unsurprising that the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 abolished the category of arrestable offence, replacing the dual rules with a single set of criteria for all offences. The question now for police is whether it is "necessary" to arrest the relevant person, by reference to various broadly-drafted statutory criteria.



*Zander (2005). "The Police and Criminal Evidence Act" (5th ed.). Sweet & Maxwell. ISBN 0-421-90580-8

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • arrestable offence — noun Law, Brit. an offence for which there is a fixed mandatory penalty or which carries a sentence of at least five years imprisonment …   English new terms dictionary

  • serious arrestable offence — See arrestable offence. Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • arrestable — [[t]əre̱stəb(ə)l[/t]] ADJ: usu ADJ n An arrestable offence is an offence that you can be arrested for. Possession of cannabis will no longer be an arrestable offence …   English dictionary

  • arrestable — adjective For which one can be arrested (taken into police custody). Playing music too loud isnt an arrestable offence …   Wiktionary

  • offence */*/*/ — UK [əˈfens] / US noun Word forms offence : singular offence plural offences 1) [countable] a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment motoring/firearms/public order offences criminal offence: Killing these animals is a criminal… …   English dictionary

  • offence — (BrE) (AmE offense) noun 1 illegal act ADJECTIVE ▪ grave, heinous, major, serious ▪ lesser, minor, petty, trivial …   Collocations dictionary

  • arrestable — adj. Arrestable is used with these nouns: ↑offence …   Collocations dictionary

  • arrestable — adj. 1 susceptible of arrest. 2 Law (esp. of an offence) such that the offender may be arrested without a warrant …   Useful english dictionary

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