The police to arrive

Dick was detained by the bouncers on trying to leave the bar, while waiting on the police to arrive. Occasionally private citizens, in this case the bouncers, are 'obliged to' make a summary arrest1 in accordance with the powers of arrest set out in PACE Article 26. Two conditions will need to be met in order for a valid arrest to have taken place: 1) there must be an indictable offence or reasonable suspicion of an indictable offence, 2) appropriate general conditions must apply2.

The crime of which Dick is suspected, unlawful wounding, is serious enough to be considered indictable. The general arrest conditions, as set out in Art 26. 5 of PACE, are met as Dick was detained by the bouncers to prevent him 'absconding'3. As stated above the conditions for the arrest have been met and so the arrest by the police was necessary however, the police never met Dick's rights upon arrest. Firstly, it is clear that the police over exercised their power to use reasonable force during the arrest.

There are two aspects when considering what is reasonable force; necessity and justification4. There is no evidence in the case that Dick was acting dangerously or resisting arrest so it was neither necessary nor justified for the police to frogmarch Dick and throw him in the police van so the force used is regarded as 'unreasonable, and civil action will lie'5. As stated in the case of Simpson6 the use of excessive force does not, however, necessarily render the arrest itself unlawful.

But what does render the arrest unlawful is that Dick's rights as a person arrested were breached. This is due to the reasons he was not informed of the fact of arrest, reasons for arrest nor was he cautioned which are important rights given by PACE7. Once Dick was arrested he was taken down to the police station for further questioning8. This is lawful; however, Dick was not cautioned9 before questioning which is unlawful. There are also criteria set out for conditions of questioning10 i. e.

'there must be proper lighting, heating and ventilation'11 but as we are not made aware of the situation in which Dick is questioned it would be irrelevant to go into the details in which the questioning would be unlawful. Furthermore Dick was also refused the right to legal advice which is a violation of Article 9 of PACE which states 'A person arrested and held in custody in a police station or other premises shall be entitled, if he so requests, to consult a solicitor at any given time'12.

There are, of course, circumstances when this right can be revoked but this case does not constitute it as it is highly improbable that his solicitor would 'interfere or harm evidence'13. The only reason which I can see for the police revoking this right is they are afraid Dick will be advised by his solicitor to not answer any questions; this reason is, however, unlawful14.

As the conditions in which Dick signed the confession statement are not known it would be irrelevant to question them but from his right to legal advice being breached the confession can be declared unlawful and three consequences from this irregularity can occur: 'those concerned may be subjected to disciplinary measures, may give rise in some cases to criminal or civil liability, and any evidence obtained in an irregular manner-most notably a confession by the suspect- may be excluded by the court at trial.

'15 The charge brought against Dick of unlawful wounding seems fitting due to the offence committed against Vernon as there has been breaking of both of the layers of skin16, it was 'inflicted without legal justification'17 and the mens rea element required has been met as Dick obviously 'intended or foresaw harm of some kind'18. Dick was not granted bail and was brought to court the next day in accordance with PACE Art 47 (1) and (2). He is then refused bail by the judge so Dick was being kept in remand.

Bail is allowed to be refused on four grounds: if there are good reasons for believing the defendant will not show up for trial19, if there is a serious likelihood that the defendant will interfere with evidence20, if the defendant is likely to commit further offences if set at liberty21 and for the preservation of public order22. It is not made aware if Dick has a previous criminal record, so the probability of him committing further offences is unknown and refusing bail would not be for the preservation of public order.

Interference with evidence wouldn't be a likely ground for refusal of bail either as there are no facts provided regarding evidence. The judge, on having refused bail on the first ground, must have believed there to be a risk of Dick absconding due to the seriousness of the charge, as 'the more serious the charge, the greater the temptation to abscond'23. There are no irregularities in this refusal of bail.