Crime and Disorder Act 1998
Balaclavas & Face Masks - The Crime & Disorder Act 1998 adds to Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and gives an officer in uniform the power to:-
- Require any person to remove any item which the constable reasonably believes that person is wearing wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing their identity.
- Seize any item which the constable reasonably believes any person intends to wear wholly or manly for that purpose
Under Section 26 of the Act a Constable may retain things seized under Section 60 of the CJA & POA 1994 Act.
Under Section 27 of this Act it is an arrestable offence if you do not comply with an officer in the exercise of this power.
Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 will therefore read:
(1) Where a police officer of or above the rank of superintendent reasonably believes that -
a) incident involving serious violence may take place in any locality in his area and
b) it is expedient to do so to prevent their occurrence.
He may give authorization that the powers to stop and search persons and vehicles conferred by this section shall be exercicable at any place within that locality for a period not exceeding twenty-four hours
(2) The power conferred by subsection (1) above may be exercised by a chief inspector or an inspector if he reasonably believes that incidents involving serious violence are imminent and no superintendent is available.
(3) If it appears to the officer who gave the authorisation or to the superintendent that it is expedient to do so, having regard to offences which have, or are reasonably expected to have, been committed in connection with any incident falling within the authorisation, he may direct that the authorisation shall continue in being for a further six hours.
(4) This section confers on any constable in uniform power -
a) To stop any pedestrian and search him or anything carried by him for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments;
b) To stop any vehicle and search the vehicle, its driver and any passenger for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments
(4A) This section confers on any constable in uniform power -
a) to require any person to remove any item which the constable reasonably believes that person is wearing wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing his identity;
b) to seize any item which the constable reasonably believes any person intends to wear wholly or mainly for that purpose.
(5) A constable may, in the exercise of those powers, stop any person or vehicle and make any search he thinks fit whether or not he has any grounds for suspecting that the person or vehicle is carrying weapons or articles of that kind.
(6) If in the course of a search under this section a constable discovers a dangerous instrument or an article which he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be an offensive weapon, he may seize it.
(7) (Not applicable)
(8) A person who fails to stop, or to stop a vehicle, or remove an item worn by him when required to do so by a constable in the exercise of his powers under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard of scale or both.
(9) Any authorisation under this section needs to be in writing, signed by the officer giving it with specified location.
(10) The driver of the stopped vehicle is entitled to obtain a written statement.
(Note: refusing to be searched can be Obstruction of a Police Officer)
'For too long, cowardly thugs have been allowed
to hide behind masks to inflict terror and violence on innocent
members of the public'
Alun Michael, Home Office Minister, May 1998