Collin the Constable holds the Office of Police Constable making him an independent servant of the crown who is said to be individually and independently responsible for all of his conduct carried out in the course of discharging the powers of his office. Particularly, it has been said that “a police officer cannot be directed when to arrest, the decision to arrest is that of the arresting officer only.” (I would give a canonical source to this quotation, but it was written in private correspondence to myself, albeit from a fairly knowledgeable source, yet I don’t know where it is taken from (though I suspect that it is copied from some semi-official handbook or the like). But I am just wondering if this above statement is fully accurate:
For example, are there not situations where an officer doesn’t have any choice at all but to arrest someone? For example, imagine he gets called to a report of a bar fight, or perhaps a petty shoplifting call, neither of which types of incidents inherently necessitate arrests. But upon soliciting and checking Bob’s details on PNC, they see that he is subject to a bench warrant on grounds of skipping bail, does this scenario not outrule the above principle?
Or…, what really is the warrant? Is it more of an authorisation, than a directive, for any acting Constable to arrest Bob, at the Constable’s discretion? Would the Constable nonetheless, (for example if Bob was behaving very credibly and cooperatively), have the discretion to give him words of advice along with obtaining his postal address for the purposes of later sending him a summons for a so called “caution +3” / “voluntary interview” about the outstanding matter of breaching bail together with whatever else may have remained outstanding from the previous episode?
Are there any other scenarios which would negate the above quoted principle? Or is it completely correct?
But are there