I was watching this YouTube video by Crimebodge. At 10:10 he explains that the police only have powers of entry to arrest somebody for indictable offences (like rape), and not for summary offences (like harassment). I understand there are other scenarios when they can enter, for example if they are pursuing someone that just ran into a house.

Question #1: If someone makes a complaint to the police about an indictable offence, such as rape, and another person makes a complaint to the police about a summary offence, such as harassment, would the police then need a warrant to enter the house and arrest the person?

Question #2: What would happen if it was an either way offence (one that could be tried in a Magistrates' Court or the Crown Court) - would it perhaps depends upon the seriousness as to whether police could use their powers of entry?

Question #3: If it is an indictable offence, is it enough for an alleged victim to go to a police station and put in a complaint so the police can enter your house without a warrant to arrest you, or must the police officer have seen it happen otherwise it requires a warrant?

These questions are just for England and Wales.


1 Answer 1

  1. If the conditions at s.17 and s.24 PACE 1984, and PACE Code G are satisfied for the offence of rape then there is no requirement for a warrant. Once the suspect is in police custody he may be further arrested for suspected harrassment if any of the necessity criteria are met - this will depend on the particular circumstances of the case.

  2. An either way offence is, for these purposes, regarded as an indictable offence.

  3. A constable does not need to physically see an offence being committed, but he must have (a) reasonable grounds to suspect an offence has been committed (b) reasonable grounds to believe an arrest is necessary (c) the requesit belief to satisfy s.17 PACE 1984. All this will come from conducting a proportionate investigation in to the allegations.

  • @Rich Ape Pretend someone was arrested now for rape, but the police also mentioned the summary offences when arresting them. Would that be a legal loophole that can be used in court, because the person was inside at the time...? Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 23:19
  • 2
    I assume when you say "mentioned the summary offences" you mean arrested for them. If not, ignore the following. I would say (as a cop not a lawyer) that if the suspect is in police custody following a lawful entry and arrest for an indictable offence, they can be arrested for another offence at the same time as the police are lawfully on the premises either by virture of s.32 PACE or to permit reasonable egress following s.17 entry. I will do some research and get back to you if (unbelievably) I'm mistaken.
    – user35069
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 20:01
  • I have asked a follow up question here: law.stackexchange.com/questions/63855/…
    – questioner
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 12:53

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