Sections 50 and 51 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 allow for the seizure and removal of property found on premises or on a person where it is not reasonably practicable to complete a process of examination, searching or separation at the scene. Section 52 requires the provision of a written notice to the the person from whom the property was seized, specifying various information.
(a) Seizure under section 50 (from premises) - Was a copy of this notice provided to the occupier or person who appeared to be in charge of the premises? (Tick as appropriate)
If ‘Yes’, record name and address of that person if known:
If ‘No’, record place on the premises where a copy of this notice was left:
(b) Seizure under section 51 (from person) - Copy to be provided to person from whom property seized.
Record below the name and address of person from whom property seized if known
Information for interested persons
Applying for the return of seized property
Section 59 gives any person with a relevant interesti in property seized using these powers the right to apply to the appropriate judicial authority for it to be returned. The appropriate judicial authority will normally be a judge of the Crown Court.
The grounds on which an application can be made are:
that there was no power to make the seizure;
that the seized property is or contains an item subject to legal privilegeii which there is no power to retainiii;
Following an application the appropriate judicial authority may order the return or retention of any or all of the relevant property or may give directions for its examination, separation etc. Alternatively it may dismiss the application.
Anyone failing to comply with an order or direction given by a judge of the Crown Court under these provisions may be dealt with as if he had committed a contempt of the Crown Court.
Duty to secure property
Section 60 creates a duty to secure property seized under these powers if an application for return of the property is made under section 59, notice of the application is given to the relevant person6 and the application is based on the property being or containing legally privileged, excluded or special procedure material.
Section 61 specifies that the duty to secure is a duty on the person in possession of the seized property to ensure that, once notice of an application for return has been given, the property shall not be examined, copied or generally put to any other use without consent of the applicant or in accordance with the directions of the appropriate judicial authority.
Applying to attend examination of seized property
Any person with an interest in property seized under these powers who wishes to attend the initial examination of that property should apply to:
For the purpose of section 59 a person with a relevant interest in the seized property is:
the person form whom it was seized;
any person with an interest in the property; or
any other person who had custody or control of the property immediately before the seizure.
ii Legally privileged material includes communications between a professional legal adviser and his client in respect of legal advice or proceedings.
iii The legislation does provide for the retention of certain inextricably linked material, including legally privileged, excluded or special procedure material, if it cannot be separated from material that can be seized without prejudicing the use of that sizeable material. Excluded and special procedure material can sometimes be seized where it is evidence in relation to an offence or itself the proceeds of an offence.
iv Excluded material includes journalistic material and personal records which are held in confidence.
v Special procedure material includes confidential material created in the course of a business and journalistic material provided neither is excluded material.
6 A “relevant person” for the purposes of giving notice of an application for return of property is:
the person who made the seizure;
the person in possession of the seized property;
the person whose name and address are specified in this notice.