pargoletta (pargoletta) wrote in little_details,

Obtaining A Search Warrant In London

Setting: Contemporary London

Sorry to bother you again. I have a question about search warrants. I have a cop who's just heard about a Very Big Crime, and he needs to go to the scene and pick up some evidence (the crooks themselves have vanished into the city; the evidence will help locate them). As far as I understand UK law, he needs a search warrant to do this. Various UK government and law websites tell me that search warrants are issued by Justices of the Peace, and that their courts operate on weekday afternoons.

The problem is that the cop learns of this crime on a Saturday night, and he needs to get a warrant for that search ASAP, so that the crooks don't come back and clear the place out before business hours on Monday. Is there an emergency night court he can prevail upon to get the warrant? Can he call up the nearest Justice of the Peace at two in the morning and get a warrant? Does he even need a formal warrant to do this? I know that the US has an "imminent destruction of evidence" exception to the warrant requirement; does the UK have something similar?

Can he even do this search, or does he need to find and arrest the crooks first?

Thank you in advance!
Tags: uk: government: law enforcement

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