This legislation was created after allegations of misconduct and abusing power were brought to light. PACE sets out the framework for the police and regulates what they can and can’t do to ensure that they cannot go beyond their powers and uphold the law in a moral way.
The legislation itself is 122 sections long and covers a lot of different topics. It also comes with a set of codes of practice which accompanies a lot of legislation these days. The codes of practice cover codes A – H and are updated regularly.
PACE is not only applicable to the police and officers will on occasion need to conduct what is known as a PACE interview. A PACE interview will take place as a part of an investigation. As a part of the interview there will need to be a caution read before any questions can be asked. This is to ensure that the answers can be used in evidence.
It’s worth noting that when you witness an offence you do not need to caution as you are only confirming the person’s identity (PACE Code C s10.1). You are not investigating; you already know the offence has occurred.
PACE interviews are a formal evidence gathering exercise and will be used as evidence. A written record should be made as soon as possible, and the offender should be offered the chance to sign the interview. An officer should record the interview on their body camera if it conducted on a doorstep, or if it is in an office on council premises it should be recorded on audio.
The statement and the recordings will be used in court if it proceeds that far.
Approaching the offender after witnessing the offence
The course has shown you how to conduct yourself professional and explained some of the legislation as Enforcement officers you will be using. You should also be able to identify what is needed if you are asked to enforce other offences.
The next section will explain what needs to be included when you are interacting with an offender.