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Keeping pace with changing times


    2008-04-08

    Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide
    Virtually the whole of the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 came into force on 6th April 2008. The only exceptions to this are section 2(1)(d) which refers to persons in custody and section 10 about the court's power to order that convictions under the Act be publicised.

    See further the introduction, contents and main offence of the Act.

    Stray dogs
    Police responsibility for stray dogs ended at midnight on 5th April 2008 and passed to the local authority. Section 3 of the Dogs Act 1906 is therefore repealed. The repeal does not apply in respect of dogs worrying livestock (where a police officer may still seize and detain the dog until the owner has claimed it and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention).

    Indecent photos of children
    A new Schedule 11 to the Protection of Children Act 1978 provides a mechanism for the forfeiture of indecent photographs of children held by the police. The law used to allow for the forfeiture of such material only following seizure under a warrant under the Protection of Children Act 1978, and required all material that it is proposed be forfeited to be brought before the court irrespective of whether its owner consents to its forfeiture.

    The effect of the change from 1st April 2008 is to permit forfeiture of material by the police irrespective of the power under which the material was seized, and to permit forfeiture of material along with any other material that it is not possible to separate from it. Forfeiture may now take place without the involvement of a court unless the owner or some other person with an interest in the material objects.

    Schedule 11 applies to the forfeiture of indecent images of children and the devices that hold them regardless of the powers of seizure used.

    Serious Crime Act 2007
    Part 1 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 entered into force on April 6 2008. It sets out the requirements and conditions concerning Serious Crime Prevention Orders. The High Court (and in certain cases the jurisdiction is extended to the Crown Courts) is empowered to make such civil order. Their aim is to prevent serious crime and to protect society by restricting/preventing and disrupting involvement by the person in serious criminal behaviour. Failure to comply with the terms of the order is an offence.

    Police Operational Handbook
    The 2007/08 edition of the Police Operational Handbook has been published on 24th October at a price of £21.95. This pocket-sized guide is an invaluable source of information whether out on the beat or when studying for promotion. Buy it online at www.pnld.co.uk.


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