Is the UK police allowed to hold one's passport and phone for further "investigation" after he had been in detention for 21 hours?
Further the police told him that he is not allowed to leave his flat.
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The length of time a suspect is held in police custody before being released is unrelated to the police's power (and duty) to sieze potential evidence for further examination or to require e.g. the surrender of a passport as a condition of pre-charge bail (along with the requirement not to apply for international travel documents or tickets etc).
If the suspect is assessed to be a flight risk, under section 50A(2)(a) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) they can retain a passport if they see...
the need to secure that the person surrenders to custody
The retention of property, such as a phone, is allowed under section 22 PACE:
(1) Subject to subsection (4) below, anything which has been seized by a constable or taken away by a constable following a requirement made by virtue of section 19 or 20 above may be retained so long as is necessary in all the circumstances.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above—
- (a) anything seized for the purposes of a criminal investigation may be retained, except as provided by subsection (4) below—
(i) for use as evidence at a trial for an offence; or
(ii) for forensic examination or for investigation in connection with an offence; and
- (b) anything may be retained in order to establish its lawful owner, where there are reasonable grounds for believing that it has been obtained in consequence of the commission of an offence.
(4) Nothing may be retained for either of the purposes mentioned in subsection (2)(a) above if a photograph or copy would be sufficient for that purpose.