Legal Articles


Road Traffic Legislation – Temporary Changes for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by: Christopher Smith, PNLD Traffic Law Consultant
Published Thursday 18 June 2020

Over the last few months, there have been many temporary changes to road traffic legislation, brought about by the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article, written by PNLD’s Traffic Law Consultant, Christopher Smith, highlights the main modifications currently made to the legislation. However, it should be noted that at present the situation can change very rapidly.

In compiling this article, we would like to express our thanks to staff at the DfT, DVLA and DVSA for the information they have provided.

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Lockdown and release - the key to policing powers

Written by: Helen Hanley, PNLD Legal Adviser
Published Tuesday 26 May 2020

The Government is facing one of its biggest challenges to date; to stop the exponential growth in the number of deaths caused by Coronavirus (over 35,000 to date) and curtail its rate of infection. On the 25th March, the Government introduced the Coronavirus Act 2020 to enable it to respond to this emergency and to manage the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the 26th March 2020, the Government commenced a ‘lockdown’.

New Regulations were introduced to create restrictions on movement and gatherings, and provide the police with powers, the likes of which, have never been seen before. By doing this, to some extent, the Government is achieving its objective; the rate of spread (at the time of writing) is now estimated as less than 1. As a result, the Government now believe that it is important to commence an easing of the lockdown and seek to balance the need to keep the rate of spread down against the need to get the economy moving.

PNLD Legal Adviser, Helen Hanley, provides an overview of the current legislation, the police’s approach to enforcement, the Government’s 3-step plan and what is to come.

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An Interpretation of the Voyeurism Offences -
The Filming of a Partner During Sexual Intercourse Without Consent is a Criminal Offence

Written by: Shelley Gregory, PNLD Legal Adviser
Published Saturday 25 April 2020

The recent case of R v Richards 2020, which was heard at the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal on 28th January 2020, saw the court interpret a ‘private act’ for the offence of voyeurism, and in particular with regards to the use of recording equipment. 

Legal Adviser, Shelley Gregory, takes a look at the case and the relevant legislation.

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Use of Force in Relation to Mental Ill Health and Capacity

Written by: Ruth Hartley, PNLD Legal Adviser
Published Wednesday 25 March 2020

Front line officers regularly come into contact with persons suffering from mental health problems. In such circumstances, officers have an obligation to assess whether a particular individual poses a threat to themselves or the public, and where appropriate, take intervening action to rectify any threat. Often, this results in officers using physical intervention tactics, equating to use of force.

PNLD Legal Adviser Ruth Hartley examines the relationship between the use of force and the methods of intervention available to officers in the remit of mental health – an area which PNLD are regularly asked to advise on.

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Stalking Protection Orders

Written by: Danielle Johnson, PNLD Legal Adviser
Published Tuesday 25 February 2020

The Stalking Protection Act 2019 came in force on 20th January 2020, permitting new civil Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) to be made without the need for criminal proceedings to have commenced. These orders were introduced to fill a gap within the existing protective measures, allowing early police safeguarding and pre-conviction intervention.

PNLD legal adviser Danielle Johnson gives a brief overview of the new orders, including how to apply for them, managing the notification requirements and the offences for breach.

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Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses Act 2019

Written by: Ian Bridges, PNLD Legal Adviser
Published Monday 27 January 2020

The Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses Act 2019 (the Act) came in to force on 20 January 2020 and has brought England in line with a long and increasing list of countries that have already banned the practice. The use of wild animals in circuses was previously regulated through the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012.

PNLD Legal Adviser Ian Bridges outlines the Act in our latest article.

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