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Views sought on new police powers

The Department of Home Affairs is asking for views on new laws which would extend police powers.

The Criminal Justice, Police Powers and Other Amendments Bill 2012 changes the way officers can grant bail, arrest people and deal with children.

It would also create a new offence of breaching bail conditions, and let police arrest children in order to return them to their parents.

Minister Juan Watterson says the laws would give police more modern powers.

The 35-clause bill follows on from a police powers bill which was eventually dropped by former Home Affairs Minister Adrian Earnshaw.

It would let police apply for warrants allowing them to search any property owned or controlled by somebody without specifying an address.

At present, officers can only detain and question children aged 10 to 14 at a police station if they’re accused of murder – this legislation would allow them to add other offences such as rape, arson or other crimes to that list.

The bill is online at gov.im – and the closing date for views is Tuesday, July 24

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