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IT Wizard

Protecting a crime scene

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I was scene guard at an incident recently on a Saturday night. A member of the public decided to deliberately duck under and cross our tape barrier as a lark with his mates. Afterwards, I’ve been trying to think of the best legislation I could have used, had I chosen to arrest rather than just have strong words of advice.

Section 19 PACE and then Section 117 gives me power to enforce the cordon, which I used.

I could have used Section 5 POA but in this case, I don’t think it would have been appropriate as there was nothing obusive or offensive. It might for other situations. D&D might also be used on other occasions in a similar vein.

Possibly Perverting the course of Justice by deliberately contaminating a crime scene.


Obstructing a police office in the execution of his duties.


any thoughts or examples other officers have made use of?


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I would have used Obstructing a Police Officer in the execution of his duty.

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Apart from terrorism, there's no statute to enforce a cordon so we rely on common law and the good will of the public.

Breaking a cordon is not, in itself, an offence. But obstruction, attempt perverting the course of justice and public order are possibilities depending on the circumstances.

Have a look at DPP  v Morrison [2003] EWHC 683 Admin and C694 on PNLD - eapecially as it refers to PACE Code B for some light reading.

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