Guidance

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

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 codes of practice (which regulate police powers and protect public rights), and recent revisions.

Overview

This guide briefly 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.

It includes information about what each of the codes of practice covers and recent revisions to the codes.

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 all PACE codes are available on the PACE codes page.

Code subjects

Below are the subjects covered by each of the current codes of practice:

Code Subject
Code A 2011 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 2011 Police powers to search premises and to seize and retain property found on premises and persons
Code C 2012 Requirements for the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects not related to terrorism in police custody by police officers
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 2010 Audio recording of interviews with suspects in the police station
Code F 2010 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 2012 requirements for the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects related to terrorism in police custody by police officers

Recent revisions to PACE code C, G and H

Following the consultation published in November 2011, revised versions of PACE codes C, G and H have now come into effect. Details of these revisions can be found on the PACE codes page.

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