Many police practitioners will pause on learning that they are instructed in a case involving an arrest for breach of the peace. The reason being – that the law on when an arrest can be made is not always well understood by arresting officers. That is not to be discourteous to the police. Rather, it is a recognition of how complicated this issue can be. The Supreme Court in the case of R (Hicks) v Comr Metropolitan Police  UKSC 9 gives some assistance to the police where they seek to arrest persons in light of an imminent breach of the peace and provides a simpler statement of the law than did the Court of Appeal.
It is not uncommon for police officers to justify the necessity of an arrest by reference to PACE s24(5)(e) – to allow the prompt and effective investigation of an offence or the conduct of the person in question. The case of R (TL) v Chief Constable of Surrey  EWHC 129 (Admin) considers the extent to which this permits arrest for the purpose of imposing bail conditions and conducting a search.
The value of a Coroner’s inquest in opening up matters to public scrutiny is clearly demonstrated by this highly unusual application by the Chief Executive of the IPCC in R (IPCC) v IPCC  EWHC 2993 (Admin) who, following a searching inquest, brought proceedings against his own organisation to overturn its flawed report into police conduct.
The Police Appeals Tribunal should take care not to go behind clearly expressed statements made by police hearings tribunals. It should also take care as to the order of witnesses where hearsay evidence is being admitted: Squire v (1) The Queen (CC Thames Valley Police) (2) PAT  EWCA Civ 1315.
Senior Coroners still smarting from being described as holding “a relatively lower judicial office” by Mr Justice Singh in the Norfolk Coroner v AAIB case last month have now been dealt a second blow by Cranston J when he made it very clear in Secretary of State for the Home Dept v Senior Coroner for Surrey  EWHC 3001 (Admin) that not only are Senior Coroners, as a category, not among those able to see sensitive material related to issues of national security, but that the Secretary of State can rely upon the assertion of a general policy not to provide Coroners with such material and so does not have to provide any evidence that disclosure to the particular Coroner will in itself result in a real risk of serious harm to national security.