If you find yourself falsely accused of a crime, police officers may produce a warrant allowing them to seize personal property as part of their investigation.
But will you ever get to see it again?
In this blog, we look at how best to retrieve personal property seized by police with support from Monan Gozzett.
Return Of Property Seized By Police: NFA
If the investigation you were subject to has concluded with no further action , then yes, your property should be returned.
This can be a slow process, but our team can persist with the officer for this to be released to you quickly. This often ensures the property is released from the property store.
However, suppose an investigation is concluded, and the police refuse to return your property. In that case, an application under section 1 of the Police (Property) Act 1897 can be made to the relevant court.
Under this application, a court may make an order to return the property to the lawful owner.
Often our team can persuade the police to return the property. If not, our team of expert lawyers can escalate the matter and make the relevant application to the court.
Return Of Property Seized By Police: Matter Still Under Investigation
But what if police seized your property and the investigation is ongoing? Perhaps you have been released under investigation (RUI) or on police bail. In that case, the power to retain property should be applied at every stage.
The power to retain property is detailed in section 22 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).
This confirms that the property cannot be retained if a photograph or copy could be made. If - for whatever reason - the original must be kept by police, there is still a duty to allow access under section 21.
If this is not allowed, our team may need to escalate the application to a senior officer or a court.
If you need any advice or assistance in relation to the return of your property during a police investigation, please get in touch with our expert team of lawyers