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Power Of Arrest

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the relative powers of special constables and community safety officers, with special reference to the power of arrest. [121568]

[holding answer 26 June 2003]: Special constables possess full constabulary powers, including the power of arrest, while they are in their own, or an adjacent, police force.Community Support Officers (CSOs) have not been given powers of arrest beyond those available to ordinary citizens. In the Police Reform Act 2002 CSOs have been given a power to detain a person who is suspected of a relevant offence, and who has not

supplied a satisfactory name and address, for up to 30 minutes while awaiting the arrival of a police constable. A relevant offence is:

a fixed penalty notice offence of littering, dog fouling, or cycling on the footway or
an offence that appears to have caused harassment, alarm or distress to another or
an offence that involves loss of or damage to another's property.

This power of detention is being piloted by six police forces for two years until December 2004.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the powers available to community safety officers. [121569]

[holding answer 26 June 2003]: Subject to parliamentary approval the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill will extend the following powers to community support officers (CSOs):

The power to disperse groups
The power to issue a fixed penalty notice for graffiti and fly-posting.
The power to issue a fixed penalty notice to parents for truancy.
The power to stop cyclists in order to issue a fixed penalty notice for cycling on a footpath.