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Consultation launched on modernisation of Police Codes

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Department of Home Affairs has published a draft Order and is inviting public comment on plans contained within it to modernise the Police Codes of Practice.

A six-week consultation is being launched today (Monday 22 September 2014) to gather feedback, which will be considered before the legislation is submitted to Tynwald.

The Department is seeking to update the Codes that provide guidance and outline the procedures the police are required to follow to ensure the efficient, effective and consistent application of the powers provided to them.

Police Codes have not been substantially revised since 1998, and the intention is to provide officers with up-to-date guidance that better reflects current legislation and operational practices.

The Codes relate to the exercise of police powers on a range of matters including arrest, stop and search, searches of premises and seizure of property, detention, treatment and questioning of people, and interviews.

The opportunity has also been taken to consult on procedures to be followed by the police in respect of alcohol found in the possession of minors and drinking in public places in the Isle of Man.

Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK said:

‘Since the current Police Codes came into operation 15 years ago there have been significant changes to legislation and operational practices relating to criminal law and human rights. The proposed new Codes are essentially the same as those used by police forces in England and Wales, with some small but important changes to meet the needs of the Island.’

He added: ‘The Isle of Man Constabulary has been very effective in driving down levels of crime and supporting the Department’s commitment to maintaining community safety. The new Police Codes will help officers by updating the procedures they must follow when exercising their powers. I would encourage people to take part in the consultation. We will listen to their views before taking the new Police Codes forward for consideration by Tynwald.’

Subject to approval, the intention is to bring the new Codes into operation at the same time as the Criminal Justice, Police Powers and Other Amendments Act 2014, which gained Royal Assent in May.

The Police Codes consultation document is available to view at and comments can be submitted in writing to the Department of Home Affairs, Homefield, 88 Woodbourne Road, Douglas, IM2 3AP, or by e-mailing

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Monday 3 November 2014.

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