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Your Rights Under the Criminal Justice & Police Act 2001

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 24 Oct 2021 | comments*Discuss
Criminal Justice And Police Act Your

The primary purpose of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 is to put policies in place which are aimed at combating crime and disorder within our local community. It deals with issues regarding elements of Anti-Social Behaviour In The Neighbourhood and for the imposition of ‘on the spot’ fines for other offences as well as being concerned with other issues.

Alcohol Consumption In Public Places

While it is not illegal to drink outside of licensed premises in certain areas, there has been an increase in the number of locations in which the law has now designated these areas as being ‘alcohol-free zones’. In these alcohol-free zones you are not allowed to drink outside of licensed premises.

These measures have been introduced not with the intention of interfering with the general public’s human rights, but as a step to trying to curb anti-social behaviour that can result as a consequence of people consuming alcohol out on the streets. It’s also aimed at reducing the number of incidents of underage drinking which has increasingly blighted our communities over the past few years, as well as reducing the number of alcohol-related crimes in particular.

If a person is either suspected of being under the legal age and drinking alcohol in public or is an adult drinking outside of a licensed premises on the street in a designated ‘alcohol free’ zone, a police office does have the power to force the offender to surrender the alcohol and failure to comply can lead to an on-the-spot fine and possible arrest.

On-The-Spot Fines

There are many offences which might be deemed ‘minor’ to some members of the public but which are taken seriously by the police. The police can then issue on-the-spot fines for these kinds of offences. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Wasting police time or making a false report
  • Making hoax calls to the fire brigade
  • Trespassing onto a railway line and/or throwing stones or other objects at trains
  • Buying or attempting to buy alcohol for consumption by a person under the age of 18
  • Disorderly behaviour in a public place while drunk

Other Issues

The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 also makes provisions for dealing with individuals or groups of people who are knowingly Harassing Other Members Of The Community. This can cover issues such as threats of violence or any other form of malicious communications, which includes harassment or intimidation over the phone or by letter, for example.

Although not an exclusive list, the Act also gives the police powers in relation to the following:

  • Seizure of documents and other items which could provide evidence in a crime investigation
  • Seizure of passports and travel restriction notices on people convicted of certain drug offences
  • Intimidation and/or harming of witnesses in a court case

It also lays out your rights as a member of the public when it comes to issues such as being interviewed by the police, fingerprinting, the use of sound and video recording equipment when taking statements and during questioning, and other rights you have if you are taken into custody by the police.

The Act, ultimately, aims to maintain a decent standard of law and order which, as citizens and residents of our local community, we should all be entitled to.

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My neighbour keeps harassing us for over a year now with false accusations on Socail media wasting police time when they turned up no drugs etc whatever she said is in the house speaking to neighbours about me with false lies and my child’s nursery speaking to parents there getting them to all give me dirty looks I have reported again to the police lost count how many times now also tonight has stated my mental health on Socail media that I’m not mentaly stable which Iam I only have anxiety attacks pretty much telling people where I live etc I really want to press charges and she is not stopping and is harassing our family it is affected my two year old after she’s been banging at the door threatening etc I need help an advice I can’t cope and I can’t do this anymore help please
Hold head high - 24-Oct-21 @ 8:52 PM
Slicker - Your Question:
Private and ConfidentialScenario A.Vulnerable adult is being intimidated by a neighbour as a result of conflict of interest and making complaints about noise and disrepair.Is this bullying ?Does this constitute assault?Is the adult being victimised?What legal recourse can the man resort to under these circumstances?

Our Response:
We don't know enough about this situation to make a useful comment unfortunately. If the intimidation is of a physical nature then of course it can constitute assault. There are also laws about harassment etc. You can find details of these elsewhere on this website.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Jan-17 @ 12:52 PM
Private and Confidential Scenario A. Vulnerable adult is being intimidated by a neighbour as a result of conflict of interest and making complaints about noise and disrepair. Is this bullying ? Does this constitute assault? Is the adult being victimised? What legal recourse can the man resort to under these circumstances?
Slicker - 5-Jan-17 @ 2:39 PM
Gud mrng sir, One of my sister's is harassingand beating regular by my brother-in-law..... how can I face/solve this problem under this section..... please give a suggestion. Thank uuuu
Cvm - 11-Apr-16 @ 5:29 AM
For the past five years we've been subject to malicious harassment in revenge for a call we made to the NSPCC when our new neighbour moved in and her child was screaming constantly every night for six weeks. The neighbour was unapproachable and blamed us it seems for her being forced to send her child to school instead of being home schooled. Since then she concocts stories of noise to the council, illegal fires in the garden, illegal parking, us working from home when we need permission, having illegal lodgers etc etc. We are now wanting to fight back having never complained about her but enough is enough. She is a home owner and we live in an adjoining council house. What are our rights and what can we do to make it stop for good? W've had the Police tell us they can do nothing and also the Council. Where are our rights? Please someone give us some good news!
Mike and Wendy - 5-Nov-15 @ 4:37 PM
I had filed a police report in a small town where i purchased my retirement homewhere i have my adult child living there. Put it this way a year after buying the house there were policeinvolvement becsuse she got involved with a criminal. My power washer was stolen ,i filed a police report. The police think it wasmy daughter i t could be it could also be a neighbor took it since the garage side door was unlocked. I want it to be closed .the pol i ce in a small town in Pa don't want to close it and wants to ask her questions like where do work etc. Do they have a legsl right to keep it opened or are they trying to investigate if shes involved with simething else ?
Dee - 26-Oct-15 @ 8:09 AM
myself and my daughter have been subject to harassment, verbal and physical abuse for over 2 yrs none stop and the merseyside police have done nothing but lay the blame om me andits made me and my child ill and still they do nothing. and they wonder why we have no respect or faith in the police they are dispicable.g
mimzy - 16-Feb-15 @ 4:54 PM
I can give youample evidences of persons or person who try to intimidate and provoke others to start problems or unlawful activities just to implicate the vulnerable or victims in crimes. This is a network which is everywhere whether in India or outside of India.
Good Samaritan - 14-Aug-14 @ 12:22 PM
Share a pathway to both entrances of two terraced houses mine(owned) and neighbours(rented),the tenants are related to private landlord, four drug warrants conducted by police, 1 successful 3 failed over four years. Now going topossible mediation after an attack on me, 999 call out. Further problems, however are basically emails/telephone calls to 101/PCSO details have been supplied to landlord,and passed on totenants who have approcahed us with this information, is thisnot a very bad breach of data protection?How do i proceed... Also physical damage done a year ago front steps painted by tenant without our persmission for him to' see in the dark', now he can, as haveinstalled at my own expense a cctv/security light to capture all visitors to our shared access to properties!!!!...
telephone queen - 11-Sep-11 @ 9:56 AM
These things maybe taken seriously & acted upon by the police in the UK, but where I live in South Australia, the police laugh at me & get nasty with me, instead of making the despicable, law-breaking, arrogant, nasty morons pay for what they have done to me over more than 8 & half years.These people have been protected by the police & even the council, with no action taken for years by the council for 2 dogs wandering 24 hours a day & peeing & pooing on everyone's properties, especially mine. Where are MY RIGHTS in all of this?
H-j Anderson - 16-Aug-11 @ 12:37 PM
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