Bhatti and Others v Croydon Magistrates’ Court and Others: Admn 3 Feb 2010

The claimant challenged the valiity of search warrants used at his home. He said they were deficient in not including the information as required by the Act. The police said that they were in accordance with the Home Office guidance.
Held: There was a clear breach of section 16(5). The officers had followed the guidance, but that was itself incorrect. The police ‘argument is that since no complete assurance or guarantee of authenticity can be offered, there is no point in providing any. I do not accept that, and more importantly Parliament has not done so. It has stipulated what the householder should be told by way of assurance that the searchers have the authority they claim, and it has done so by requiring a copy of the warrant, not a copy of part only supplemented by further information provided by the executing officer, which is in essence what the current practice provides. Moreover, the fact that with an all premises warrant it will not necessarily be possible to satisfy the householder that the particular premises have been identified in the warrant does not invalidate the need to do so when the premises can be so identified.’
A copy of the warrant, including particulars of the premises to be searched must be supplied to the occupier as a mandatory requirement: ‘the wording of section 15(1) is plain and non-compliance renders entry, search and seizure unlawful. Whether or not the property can be admitted in a criminal trial raises quite separate issues. It depends upon whether the property is available to the prosecution at that time and admissibility will be determined in the normal way, subject to section 78 of PACE.’

Elias LJ, Calvert Smith J
[2010] EWHC 522 (Admin), (2010) 174 JP 213, [2011] 1 WLR 948
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 16(5)
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Longman QBD 1988
Lord Lane CJ expressed reservations as to the construction of this provision: whether the consequence of a breach of section 15 or section 16 or both would render a search of premises under a warrant unlawful and he expressed the tentative view, . .
CitedRedknapp and Another v Commissioner of the City of London Police and Another Admn 23-May-2008
The claimant challenged the legality of a search warrant and the method of its execution on his home. He complained that the police had ensured publicity for the execution of the warrant.
Held: The obtaining of a search warrant is never to be . .
CitedRegina v Chief Constable for Warwickshire and Others Ex Parte Fitzpatrick and Others QBD 1-Oct-1997
Judicial Review is not the appropriate way to challenge the excessive nature of a search warrant issues by magistrates. A private law remedy is better. Jowitt J said: ‘Judicial review is not a fact finding exercise and it is an extremely . .
CitedRegina v Chief Constable of the Lancashire Constabulary ex parte Parker Admn 2-Jan-1993
There was a two paged document headed ‘warrant to enter and search premises’ which set out all the information required by section 15(6)(a). It did not, however, on its face identify the articles or persons to be sought in subparagraph (b). That . .
CitedFisher and Another v Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary CA 29-Jul-1997
The Chief Constable appealed against an award of pounds 750 made after a police officer serving a search warrant forgetfully failed to leave a copy with the occupier. . .
CitedRegina v Chesterfield Justices and Others, Ex Parte Bramley QBD 10-Nov-1999
When police officers executed a search warrant, it was not proper to remove articles at large, in order later to sift through them, and then to return material not covered by the warrant. There is no absolute prohibition against removing articles . .
CitedEntick v Carrington KBD 1765
The Property of Every Man is Sacred
The King’s Messengers entered the plaintiff’s house and seized his papers under a warrant issued by the Secretary of State, a government minister.
Held: The common law does not recognise interests of state as a justification for allowing what . .

Cited by:
CitedGlobal Cash and Carry Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and Others Admn 19-Feb-2013
The claimant sought an order quashing a search warrant, and for damages. The officer had said that he had evidence that the claimants were storing an distributing from the premises large quantities of counterfeit goods and drugs.
Held: The . .
CitedMills and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Sussex Police and Another Admn 25-Jul-2014
The claimants faced criminal charges involving allegations of fraud and corruption. They now challenged by judicial review a search and seizure warrant saying that it was unlawful. A restraint order had been made against them and they had complied . .
See AlsoBhatti and Others v Regina CACD 30-Jul-2015
The defendants appealed against their convictions for conspiracy to facilitate breaches of immigration law, saying that they had been based on evidence obtained by the police from credit reference agencies in breach of their rights under the 1984 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Criminal Evidence

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.403322