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Arrests

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) on what occasions the police have arrested an individual (a) on an aircraft at a UK airport and (b) at the airport after an individual has landed in the last 10 years; (190484)

(2) on how many occasions police in the course of their duty have been denied access to an aircraft at an airport in the UK in the last 10 years;

(3) what powers the police have to prevent an aircraft from taking off from a UK airport in order to effect an arrest.

The statistical information requested is not held centrally.

In England and Wales, section 17 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 provides that a constable may enter and search any premises, including aircraft, for the purpose of executing a warrant or to arrest a person for an indictable offence. In Northern Ireland, Article 19(1)(b) of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 provides a constable with the power to enter and search any premises, including aircraft, for the purposes of affecting an arrest of a person for an indictable offence. In Scotland if a constable has grounds to believe that a crime has been committed anywhere within an airport, including an aircraft which has landed and is stationed at a terminal, they can investigate in the same way as for any other crime committed elsewhere within their force area.

Arrest may also be made under European or international warrant. In addition, the Manual of Air Traffic Services enables the police to instruct air traffic controllers to withhold permission for an aircraft to take off.