Do Police have power to seize evidence from a person not under arrest?
Paul Brennan successfully defended a man charged with obstructing a Constable. Police had taken the defendant’s mobile phone after he had used it to film his friend being restrained by police. They purportedly seized it under general powers of seizure - s.19 of Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Paul convinced the Judge that s.19 only applied within ‘premises’. The upshot being that the Constable was not acting in the execution of his duty when he demanded surrender of the phone so that the defendant was not guilty of obstructing the Constable by refusing to comply.