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Police Powers What do you make of this re civilians searching

#1 User is offline   Huggy 

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:19 AM

6. Assignment of policing powers
Two further dimensions of police powers are the issues of who should have access to such powers and how access to any powers should be facilitated.

Who should exercise police (and police-like) powers?
At present, the vast bulk of police powers can only be discharged by sworn officers, due to the default provision in section 6(1)(a) of the 1958 Act which provides that any reference in legislation to "member of Police" is not to be read as referring to a civilian staff member. Section 6(2) allows for a limited form of empowerment, stating that any non-sworn member may, on being authorised to do so under warrant from the Commissioner, exercise any particular power, function, or duty of a member of the Police under any other enactment, except a power to arrest or to search a person. This ability has been sparingly used, however, with recent examples limited to some back-office functions (e.g., authorising the issue of infringement notices for speed camera offences) and occasional operational support roles (e.g., helping uniformed officers conduct roadside evidential breath testing).

Some specific powers are also conferred on non-sworn staff by the current Police Act itself. Notably, non-sworn staff have specific statutory authority to take particulars of identification of people in custody [section 57]; to search people in custody [section 57A]; and to appear in Court in place of another staff member, other than as a witness (e.g., as a prosecutor) [section 40].

Allowing for greater targeted empowerment of non-sworn Police staff
A theme developed in Issues Paper 3: Employment arrangements was that Police's operational environment is far more complex than in the 1950s, with many new policing services and techniques demanding special skill sets. It was noted that police forces internationally are looking to meet these challenges with a greater mix of employees; where police staff, with and without designated powers, support sworn officers more seamlessly. This was said to represent a shift towards a more sophisticated team approach to policing, that seeks to apply the requisite skills and powers to any given task.

Areas where particular opportunities are seen in New Zealand to empower non-sworn specialists with technical know-how in key investigation skills include electronic crime, forensic sciences, financial crime and intelligence analysis. It is interesting to reflect on how similar opportunities have been grasped in overseas jurisdictions. In the United Kingdom, for example, section 16(2) of PACE has long authorised police officers executing a search warrant to take civilians with them. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 expressly allowed accompanying civilians to have police powers during searches, although they can only be exercised under the supervision of the constable executing the warrant. This enables unsworn police staff to help their sworn colleagues with search and seizure operations, especially when specialist knowledge is required (e.g., when searching financial or computer records).

Within the context of the Police Act Review, a question facing New Zealand policymakers is whether similar sorts of developments should be embraced.

To this end, Issues Paper 3 also introduced the United Kingdom model of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). In London, the powers of PCSOs include: the ability to issue infringement notices for offences such as underage drinking or anti-social behaviour; the power to detain someone for up to 30 minutes pending the arrival of a constable; and the power to enter premises to protect life or limb, or prevent serious damage to property. Since January 2004, PCSOs have also been empowered by section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 to disperse groups within designated areas and remove under-16-year-olds to their place of residence.

Again, the question raised is whether these sorts of initiatives might usefully be explored in a New Zealand context. In some senses, there are already signs the time may have come to formalise such limited powers roles here. The value of being able to deploy targeted personnel to perform functions like scene guards, prisoner escorts, and other operational support roles where a narrow range of powers is needed, is increasingly being recognised. It has spurred the use of 'Temporary Constables' and creation of hybrid roles, such as the Crime Scene Attender function. Non-sworn staff are also being used successfully in Northland and Auckland as electronic monitoring bail assessors. Similarly, streamlining projects like the Criminal Justice Support Unit being piloted by Counties-Manukau Police seem sympathetic to the use of unsworn "Detention officers" and "Investigating officers" in the United Kindgom. These staff, recognised under section 38 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (UK), take forward arrest processing and case preparation, thus enabling fully-warranted staff to return to frontline operational duties.

Provided suitable training was provided for specific operational functions, there would seem to be a number of roles currently restricted to sworn officers that could appropriately be undertaken by less-than-fully-sworn staff. To take just one example, there seems no reason why the power to inspect records that must be kept under the Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 2004 should not be able to be carried out by less-than-fully-sworn members of Police.
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#2 User is offline   Huggy 

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:41 AM

In New Zealand we do not have the law that non sworn members of the police can search unless under the written hand of the Commissioner.

Does that mean civilians would have less power than a non sworn member of the police therefore these people would also need express written confirmation from the Commissioner.

So anytime a civilian assists the police in a search warrant they are basically there to say yes we want that or no we dont want that when the police are searching for and showing the civilians what they have found so as it can be ascertained if it is what the civilians are seeking.

ACC you and your PI have not had written confirmation from the Commissioner to search my place. You may have been allowed to stand there and say yes sir no sir three bags full sir but as regard to the rest hmmmmmmmmm.

Does this mean what i think it means ????? I believe it to mean that any searches ever conducted by the police in where they use civilians such as ACC staff or WINZ staff in where these people have actively participated in the search in anyway that these searches could very welll all be illegal????

This above posting was found on the NZ govt site here is the link

http://www.policeact...r-5-powers.html

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#3 User is offline   Huggy 

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 09:43 AM

Hmmmm that piggy looks like an ex cop that i have seen recently lol
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