Consultation outcome

Consultation on proposed changes to PACE Code E which concerns the audio recording of interviews with suspects

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

This consultation response covers the outcome of the consultation on PACE Code E. This revised Code E was laid before Parliament on 9 November 2015. Following Parliamentary approval, the revised code came into force on 2 February 2016.

The order and explanatory memorandum are published on

Read the revised PACE Code E 2016.

Original consultation


This consultation concerns proposed changes to PACE Code E.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The annex, together with supporting changes to other provisions and notes for guidance, exempt 4 specific crime types from the current requirement that interviews about indictable offences (ie offences that may be tried either by a judge and jury in the Crown Court or summarily in a magistrates’ court) must be audio recorded.

The 4 crime types are:

  • possession of cannabis
  • possession of khat
  • retail theft (shoplifting) of property with a value not exceeding £100
  • low value criminal damage to property with a value not exceeding £300

The annex sets out the circumstances and conditions which will allow an officer to dispense with the need to audio record the interview and instead, require a written record of the interview to be made in accordance with PACE Code C, section 11. It applies in the first instance, to interviews elsewhere than at a police station with suspects aged 18 or over who do not require an appropriate adult and whose arrest for the offence concerned is not necessary. The conditions also take account of the impact of the offence on owners of property stolen or damaged and limit the exemption to cases where it appears to the officer investigating the offence, that no injury was caused or threatened.

Overall, the new provisions provide the police with a limited exemption to ensure that on the street disposals for specified indictable offences do not breach the audio recording requirement in the code. Its purpose is to support the policy which applies in England and Wales to give police options to use of out-of-court disposals, for the purpose of dealing with the specified indictable offences in a proportionate manner.

Next steps

The draft is being circulated for consultation in accordance with section 67(4) of PACE. All responses should be emailed to arrive no later than Tuesday 5 May 2015. We hope to be in a position to introduce the revised code in October.

Please note, the response email address is not monitored or maintained for general police or public enquiries. The latter should use the standard public enquiries email address and the police through their own force and national policing leads.



PACE code E annex

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Published 24 March 2015
Last updated 27 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. Link to PACE Code E 2016 added.
  2. Response to consultation published along with revised PACE Code E.
  3. First published.