Crime and policing – guidance

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) codes of practice

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 codes of practice regulate police powers and protect public rights.

Overview

This page covers the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the accompanying PACE codes of practice, which establish the powers of the police to combat crimes while protecting the rights of the public.

Current open consultations

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

PACE codes of practice

PACE sets out to strike the right balance between the powers of the police and the rights and freedoms of the public. Maintaining that balance is a central element of PACE.

The PACE codes of practice cover:

  • stop and search
  • arrest
  • detention
  • investigation
  • identification
  • interviewing detainees

Current versions of the codes

Code Subjects covered
Code A 2015 Exercise by police officers of statutory powers to search a person or a vehicle without first making an arrest and the need for a police officer to make a record of a stop or encounter
Code B 2013 Police powers to search premises and to seize and retain property found on premises and persons
Code C 2014 Requirements for the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects not related to terrorism in police custody by police officers. Includes the requirement to explain a person’s rights while detained
Code D 2011 Main methods used by the police to identify people in connection with the investigation of offences and the keeping of accurate and reliable criminal records
Code E 2013 Audio recording of interviews with suspects in the police station
Code F 2013 Visual recording with sound of interviews with suspects - there is no statutory requirement on police officers to visually record interviews, but the contents of this code should be considered if an interviewing officer decides to make a visual recording with sound of an interview with a suspect
Code G 2012 Powers of arrest under section 24 the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 as amended by section 110 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
Code H 2014 requirements for the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects related to terrorism in police custody by police officers. Includes the requirement to explain a person’s rights while detained in connection with terrorism

The latest version of the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice on detention and custody is published on the College of Policing website under Authorised Professional Practice in the detention and custody section

Previous versions

Previous versions of the codes are shown below, by the date they came into force. You can also read the consultations which contributed to the development of revised codes.

Code A 1 Jan 09 7 Mar 11 27 Oct 13
Code B 1 Feb 08 7 Mar 11  
Code C 1 Feb 08 10 Jul 12 27 Oct 13
Code D 1 Feb 08    
Code E 30 Apr 10    
Code F 30 Apr 10    
Code G 1 Jan 06    
Code H 25 Jul 06 10 Jul 12 27 Oct 13