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Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Spankymonkey » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:08 pm

Mr. A walks into the store of a very well known cheapo supermarket. The security alarm goes off, triggered by something unknown, possibly in Mr. A's rucksack. The man behind the kiosk looks up at him but expresses no interest. Nobody investigates what triggers the alarm so Mr. A continues into the shop. 5 minutes later he exits. The alarms go off again. The man behind the kiosk again looks up with casual indifference. So Mr. A proceeds into the car park. Two store workers follow him. They ask Mr. A to come back into the store. Mr. A explains what has happened. Nevertheless he is to come back into the store. Mr. A refuses. One of the store workers grab his arm. They insist he turn out his rucksack. Mr. A refuses. The store workers say they will not let him go unless he returns to the store or turns out his things. Mr. A says, on that basis, he will only allow the police to search him.

The police are called, Mr.A is searched, nothing has been stolen. A coil of wire purchased from another electrical shop has triggered the alarm.

If Mr. A were to pursue a civil claim, do the store workers have a valid defence under section 24a of PACE of reasonable suspicion? Would this defence scupper any chance the claimant has of bringing a civil action in respect of false imprisonment, assault, battery?
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby shootist » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:23 pm

http://swarb.co.uk/regina-v-self-cacd-25-feb-1992/


Regina -v- Self; CACD 25 Feb 1992

 July 5, 2015  dls  0  Crime,


References: Gazette 15-Apr-1992, [1992] EWCA Crim 2, [1992] 3 All ER 476, [1992] 1 WLR 657, (1992) 156 JP 397, (1992) 95 Cr App R 42, [1992] Crim LR 572
Links: Bailii
Coram: Watkins, Swinton Thomas LJJ, Garland J
The defendant had been accused of the theft of a chocolate bar from a shop, and of assault on the store detective who had detained him. He had been acquitted of the charge of theft, and now appealed against the conviction for the assault saying that he had resisted an unlawful arrest.
Held: The defendant’s appeal was allowed. The arrest had been unlawful, and he had been entitled to resist it. The conviction for assault when resisting an unlawful arrest, (no theft was later proved) could not stand.
Garland J said: ‘the words of section 24 do not admit of argument. Subsection (5) makes it abundantly clear that the powers of arrest without a warrant where an arrestable offence has been committed require as a condition precedent an offence
committed. If subsequently there is an acquittal of the alleged offence no offence has been committed. The power to arrest is confined to the person guilty of the offence or anyone who the person making the arrest has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it. But of course if he is not guilty there can be no valid suspicion.’


The tariff for false imprisonment starts at, IIRC, £500 for the first hour or part thereof. It would seem on the basis of the limited information given that he was under arrest, and that the arrest was unlawful, as no offence had been committed. 'A' appears to have made a few bob courtesy of the store, although he may have to argue it. I would make a modest bet that the store will settle out of course to a satisfactory sum, although ''A; may have to run it to the court steps.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:46 pm

The power to arrest is confined to the person guilty of the offence or anyone who the person making the arrest has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it. But of course if he is not guilty there can be no valid suspicion.’

Interesting: "reasonable" is not synonymous with "valid". I don't see how reasonable grounds can be dismissed just because they were mistaken.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby atticus » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:07 pm

Because there had been no offence committed by the person arrested.

If an offence had been committed, reasonable suspicion would be enough.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:30 pm

atticus wrote:Because there had been no offence committed by the person arrested.

If an offence had been committed, reasonable suspicion would be enough.

Is this one of your posts that makes no sense, that you edit while I answer it?
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:10 am

Hang on, let us go back a bit...

Garland J wrote:the words of section 24 do not admit of argument. Subsection (5) makes it abundantly clear that the powers of arrest without a warrant where an arrestable offence has been committed require as a condition precedent an offence committed.

Section 24 Reads:
24 Arrest without warrant: constables
(1)A constable may arrest without a warrant—
(a)anyone who is about to commit an offence;
(b)anyone who is in the act of committing an offence;
(c)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be about to commit an offence;
(d)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an offence.
(2)If a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed, he may arrest without a warrant anyone whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of it.
(3)If an offence has been committed, a constable may arrest without a warrant—
(a)anyone who is guilty of the offence;
(b)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it.
(4)But the power of summary arrest conferred by subsection (1), (2) or (3) is exercisable only if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that for any of the reasons mentioned in subsection (5) it is necessary to arrest the person in question.
(5)The reasons are—
(a)to enable the name of the person in question to be ascertained (in the case where the constable does not know, and cannot readily ascertain, the person's name, or has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person as his name is his real name);
(b)correspondingly as regards the person's address;
(c)to prevent the person in question—
(i)causing physical injury to himself or any other person;
(ii)suffering physical injury;
(iii)causing loss of or damage to property;
(iv)committing an offence against public decency (subject to subsection (6)); or
(v)causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway;
(d)to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in question;
(e)to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question;
(f)to prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the disappearance of the person in question.
(6)Subsection (5)(c)(iv) applies only where members of the public going about their normal business cannot reasonably be expected to avoid the person in question.


Which caused a moment's confusion until I realised that S24 wad adjusted by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
So the words referred to by Garland J as not admitting of argument are no longer extant. I can't see the new words admitting much argument on the subject either.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby dls » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:58 am

I remembered that the haw has indeed changed.

section 24A
24AArrest without warrant: other persons

(1)A person other than a constable may arrest without a warrant—

(a)anyone who is in the act of committing an indictable offence;

(b)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an indictable offence.

(2)Where an indictable offence has been committed, a person other than a constable may arrest without a warrant—

(a)anyone who is guilty of the offence;

(b)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it.

(3)But the power of summary arrest conferred by subsection (1) or (2) is exercisable only if—

(a)the person making the arrest has reasonable grounds for believing that for any of the reasons mentioned in subsection (4) it is necessary to arrest the person in question; and

(b)it appears to the person making the arrest that it is not reasonably practicable for a constable to make it instead.

(4)The reasons are to prevent the person in question—

(a)causing physical injury to himself or any other person;

(b)suffering physical injury;

(c)causing loss of or damage to property; or

(d)making off before a constable can assume responsibility for him.”


This sounds very much like a student question - nothing wrong with that but we should treat it as such I think

Once you have found 24A, the question just about answers itself.


It amounts to an assault and possibly false imprisonment first off. It is for the store employee to find and bring himself within any defence.
Was A's explanation sufficient to displace the reasonableness of any suspicion.
He knew he had the coil. Would it make sense to suggest this as a possible trigger of the alarm?
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby Spankymonkey » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:13 am

I realise how averse you are to student questions David and so I would never engage in the folly of posting a question in the mere pursuit of education. (Appropriate emoticon with a smiling face and subtly raised eyebrow. Perhaps on the left brow which is utterly devoid of the mandatory student piercings) This is a genuine event.

As it involved 3 store employees all coming out for the show, which perhaps could be considered a joint enterprise, I'm wondering if each and every one of those employees would be asked to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the court, that they had a 'reasonable suspicion' that the claimant had indeed shoplifted. Should just one of them fail in that defence, would the claim succeed?

Furthermore, could reasonable suspicion be conferred upon another? By that I mean, one of the employees held onto the claimant with a reasonable suspicion that he had just shoplifted because "his mate told him he had."
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby shootist » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:51 am

I can't see anything in the current law that contradicts the principle stated by Garland in the case I quoted. I can't say I care much for that principle because there are many occasions where an arrest by a member of the public would seem entirely valid, as in R v Self, but that's the way it went and as far as I can see, that's the way it remains. A so called Citizen's Arrest is most often going to be a fools errand.
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Re: Stopped on the Street by Store Workers

Postby shootist » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:54 am

Hairyloon wrote:Hang on, let us go back a bit...

Garland J wrote:the words of section 24 do not admit of argument. Subsection (5) makes it abundantly clear that the powers of arrest without a warrant where an arrestable offence has been committed require as a condition precedent an offence committed.

Section 24 Reads:
24 Arrest without warrant: constables
(1)A constable may arrest without a warrant—
(a)anyone who is about to commit an offence;
(b)anyone who is in the act of committing an offence;
(c)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be about to commit an offence;
(d)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an offence.
(2)If a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed, he may arrest without a warrant anyone whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of it.
(3)If an offence has been committed, a constable may arrest without a warrant—
(a)anyone who is guilty of the offence;
(b)anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it.
(4)But the power of summary arrest conferred by subsection (1), (2) or (3) is exercisable only if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that for any of the reasons mentioned in subsection (5) it is necessary to arrest the person in question.
(5)The reasons are—
(a)to enable the name of the person in question to be ascertained (in the case where the constable does not know, and cannot readily ascertain, the person's name, or has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person as his name is his real name);
(b)correspondingly as regards the person's address;
(c)to prevent the person in question—
(i)causing physical injury to himself or any other person;
(ii)suffering physical injury;
(iii)causing loss of or damage to property;
(iv)committing an offence against public decency (subject to subsection (6)); or
(v)causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway;
(d)to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in question;
(e)to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question;
(f)to prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the disappearance of the person in question.
(6)Subsection (5)(c)(iv) applies only where members of the public going about their normal business cannot reasonably be expected to avoid the person in question.


Which caused a moment's confusion until I realised that S24 wad adjusted by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
So the words referred to by Garland J as not admitting of argument are no longer extant. I can't see the new words admitting much argument on the subject either.


The powers you quote above are for constables only and do not apply to MOPs.
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