• It is not an essential condition of a lawful arrest that a constable should verbally formulate a charge.
  • What is required is that the arrested person be told the act for which they are being arrested.

Just a short post as to what a police officer has to say to a person on arresting them, in order to satisfy the requirements of PACE. 

In McCann v CPS [2015] EWHC 2461, the Court noted that PACE section 28 required that an arrested person be informed of the ground for arrest at the time of arrest or as soon as practicable thereafter. It said that this arose out of the need for the person being arrested to have an explanation of the reason why they were being deprived of their liberty.

As to what amounts to the “ground for arrest”, the Court accepted the submission that the burden was relatively light and that a police officer need not use particularly technical or precise language. The fundamental principle was that a person was entitled to know the facts which were said to constitute a crime on his part.

The Court reaffirmed that it is not an essential condition of a lawful arrest that a constable should formulate any charge at all, much less one which might ultimately be found in an indictment. What is required is that the arrested person be told the act for which they are being arrested.