Search warrants are obtained by the police in the UK to search:
- a place, or
- a vehicle
for evidence of a crime.
The police search warrant also allows the police to confiscate evidence if found.
Reasons the Police Apply for Search Warrants in the UK
A police search warrant is issued by a Magistrates’ Court and must be supported by evidence from the police that the search warrant is necessary.
The police have many statutory powers enabling them to apply for, and obtain from a Magistrates’ Court, a search warrant.
The most common way for the police to obtain search warrants is by using s.8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (‘PACE’).
They must comply with the procedural rules set out in Subsections 15 and 16 of PACE, supplemented by Code B. These rules govern how the police obtain the search warrant and the conduct of any search performed under warrant.
To authorise a police search warrant in the UK, the police must convince the Magistrates’ Court that:
- consent to enter the premises or vehicle will not be forthcoming from the occupier,
- the material which is the subject of the search is likely to be of substantial value to the investigation of a criminal offence,
- the evidence sought is likely to be ‘relevant’ and admissible at trial,
- the evidence sought by the police under search warrant does not consist of legally privileged or other material likely to be excluded at trial.
How Police Search Warrants are Carried Out
Once the police search warrant has been issued, the police can use it to search and force entry to premises or vehicles even if:
- they have been refused entry by the occupier,
- they cannot communicate with the occupier in advance of the search,
- the occupier is not at the premises or vehicle,
- the premises or vehicle are not occupied, or
- they have ‘reasonable grounds’ for thinking that if they do not enter the premises or vehicle it will hinder the search or place someone in danger.
As well as carrying out search warrants for evidence of crime, the police can also obtain a search warrant in the UK to pursue a warrant for arrest or a warrant of commitment under s.76 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980.
Solicitors who will help you claim compensation for unlawful search warrants in the UK
If a police search warrant was unlawfully obtained or executed against you, you may be entitled to compensation.
Go to our home page (click here) for more information.
We help people throughout England & Wales claim compensation for unlawful search warrants.
In situations like this you require expert assistance from solicitors experienced in claiming compensation for unlawfully obtained and/ or executed search warrants, so call Donoghue Solicitors today on 08000 124 246 or complete the online form on this page.
One of our expert lawyers will review your police search warrant claim to help you claim the compensation you deserve.
Rating: ***** Accident at work I would highly recommend Donoghue Solicitors to anybody who is looking for a good, honest and reliable solicitor. From start to finish I was always kept up to date with the progress of my claim and was always made fully aware of what was happening. I was always explained everything thoroughly …
Rating: ***** Brilliant! Really helpful and friendly people, kept me informed of what was going on every step of the way, really fast service, would definitely recommend and use this firm again! Read more reviews here.
Rating: ***** Action against Police I retained Kevin Donoghue to deal with an assault on me by a member of a police force. Thru [sic] his handling of the matter a financial settlement was reached. I found Mr Donoghue very easy to talk to and passionate about rights of the individual. I have recently retained him …
Rating: ***** Car Accident Donoghue solicitors was recommended to me after my accident and from the very first phone call I was put at ease and 100% sure they would get me what I deserved. The staff are friendly and efficient, always there to give an update or just some reassurance. My claim was dealt with …