Warrant Categories There are three broad categories of warrants: • For obtaining evidence of criminal offences. • For obtaining evidence of other unlawful activity (e.g. s.28 Competition Act 1998). • For remedying a dangerous situation (e.g. s.135 MHA 1983).
PACE Warrants The most commonly used provision : Section 8 PACE 1984.
Can be granted by a magistrate who decides there are reasonable grounds for believing the criteria are satisfied. In complex investigations, applications are regularly made to Crown Court (and with good reason : Chatwani).
Application is ex parte.
A s.8 warrant is used to search for material which is likely to be relevant evidence and of substantial value to the investigation of an indictable offence that has been committed and to which one of the ‘accessibility conditions’ apply; s.8(1).
The Accessibility Conditions (s.8(3)) Applicant’s Obligations Statutory Safeguards Statutory safeguards : ss.15, 16, PACE Code B. Section 15 Statutory Safeguards Section 16 Breaches Examples of non-fatal / technical breaches: Methods of Challenge
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