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Statutory Authority and Responsibilities of Justice

In recent times the government has responded enormously to the rise of criminal activities that have been a concern to the public by enacting numerous laws in response to the public outcries. Officials of the justice system are obligated to abide by several stipulated common law and statutory responsibilities. These officials who include the police are known to be the first people to come in contact with offenders and victims of crimes. They have the power to use force if necessary or any other form of legal compulsion for the good of the public. This condition does not necessarily depend on the officials having warrant letters to exercise their duty. A public peace officer can conduct a search and seizure with or without a warrant. In the fourth amendment, the warrants are used as references, in this case, warrants are mandatory unless under exceptional circumstances that can be used to justify a warrantless action. Most average police officers conduct warrantless mass arrests. During a routine procedure, a police officer whose role is to make a lawful and valid arrest is entitled to search the suspected offender together with the surrounding environment and eventually arrest the individual with or without an arrest warrant. (Nancy & Willard 2006).

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In some countries, federal law allows any member of the public to arrest a suspected criminal who is caught at the crime scene or one who is running away from the crime scene. To what specific limits the authority of private security personnel can extend to in terms of citizens arrest both in common and statutory terms are not clearly defined, Sennewald, (2003). An individual is obligated to look at several sources to define the dividing line between proper and improper private security behavior in the arrest search and seizure of an offender. In modern society, the contributions of private security services have greatly transformed the resolution of crime today.

Both the general public and the justice officials have the responsibility of coming up with alternative ways which will be used in the surge of criminality and carrying out tasks of arrest, search, and seizure. When it comes to the time by which an arrest has to take place, both common law and statutory rationales have restrictions to the arresting party. Relevant to time, a delay or deferral of an arrest process will result in loss of arrest privileges. The advantage of having time restrictions is that the police use it to serve as a compelling reliance once the danger of immediate public harm from criminal activity stops.

The powers by justice officials in regards to arrest, search and detainment of suspected criminals are stipulated in the statute. An example of this statute is the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) that was implemented in 1984 whose main concern relates to the creation of various law practice codes which law enforcement officials use while exercising their given powers. Once a suspect has been taken to the station, they have the power to decide whether there is sufficient evidence that can be used to charge the individual with an offense and whether the person should be detained in police custody or set free. If a suspect is released, it can be done so by the fact that there is not enough evidence for the person’s detainment or the person may be released on bond if there is sufficient evidence. When a suspect is detained, the custody officer is obligated to explain to the offender the reason he is being detained and there should be legal grounds that result in the person’s detainment.


Nancy. E.M and Willard M.O. (2006). The public policy of crime and criminal justice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Sennewald, C.A. (2003). Effective security management, (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier.

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