Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

Serious Organised Crime And Police Act 2005

UK Legislation
UK Legislation Less

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

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The Serious Organized Crime and Police Act 2005 (c.15) (often abbreviated to SOCPA) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom aimed primarily at creating the Serious Organised Crime Agency, it also significantly extended and simplified the powers of arrest of a constable and introduced restrictions on protests in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster. It was introduced into the House of Commons on 24 November 2004 and was passed by Parliament and given Royal Assent on 7 April 2005.

Measures to introduce a specific offence of "incitement to religious hatred" were included in early drafts of the Act, but then dropped so the bill would pass before the UK general election, 2005. (The offence has since been created as the Racial and Religious Hatred Act.)

Extent of application

The Act applies only to England and Wales except where s.179 increases the extent or designates sections applying only to Scotland and/or Northern Ireland; additionally s.179(9) extends the application of four sections (ss.172, 173, 177, 178) beyond the United Kingdom to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Changes to powers of arrest (England and Wales)

The Act introduced changes to the powers of arrest utilised by both "constables" and "other persons" in England and Wales. The term arrestable offence ceased to have effect as, bar a few preserved exemptions, one power of arrest now applies to all offences when the arrest is made by a...
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