Correspondence

Circular 007/2014: PACE codes of practice - revision to codes C and H

This circular highlights revisions to 2 of the codes of practice, issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) - codes C and H.

Detail

  • broad subject: police service
  • sub category: police powers
  • issue date: 21 May 2014
  • implementation date: 2 June 2014
  • from: Crime and Policing Group, Policing Directorate, Police Transparency Unit
  • for more information contact: 020 7035 4848
  • addressed to: chief officers and police in England and Wales
  • copies sent to: chief officers of non-Police Act forces; police and crime commissioners; Association of Police and Crime Commissioners; Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime; Common Council of the City of London; Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland; General Council of the Bar; Law Society of England and Wales; Institute of Legal Executives; College of Policing; National Policing Lead for Custody; National Policing Lead for Investigative Interviewing; National Crime Agency; HM Revenue & Customs; Border Force; National Appropriate Adult Network; Independent Custody Visiting Association; HM Inspectorate of Constabulary; Independent Police Complaints Commission; PACE Strategy Board Members

Dear Chief Officer,

The purpose of this circular is to highlight revisions to 2 of the codes of practice, issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). These revisions have been subject to statutory consultation as required under section 67(4) of PACE. The revised codes were laid before Parliament on 14 May and will come into force on 2 June 2014.

The codes that have been revised are C (detention of suspects) and H (detention of terrorism suspects). The revisions implement obligations arising out of EU Directive 2012/13 on the right to information in criminal proceedings. The directive sets out common minimum standards to be applied by member states in the provision of information about their rights to persons suspected or accused of having committed a criminal offence. Its broad objectives are to enhance mutual trust and co-operation between member states and to safeguard and enhance individual rights.

These revisions to the codes build on existing good practice within the PACE framework, and promote the development of professional practice on the part of the police. They clarify for both the police and the public the information which must be provided to suspects orally and in writing about their rights and entitlements under PACE.

In particular, for both Code C and Code H there is an updated notice of rights and entitlements, which must be provided to suspects promptly. This is more comprehensive than the previous notice, and sets out with consistency information which would normally have been given in all cases. The updated notice of rights and entitlements will be available in English and Welsh, along with an easy-read version and translations into 53 other languages.

Copies of the versions of the codes laid before Parliament are available on the Home Office pages of GOV.UK: PACE Code C and PACE Code H.

Should you have any queries, please contact either John DeSousa or Brian Roberts on 020 7035 4848.

Police Integrity and Powers Unit, May 2014