Paragraph 22(2) of Schedule 2 to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 provides a power of arrest where a Northern Ireland constable or enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a slavery or human trafficking offence has been committed on the vessel under investigation. A Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer can arrest without warrant anyone they have reasonable grounds to suspect may be guilty of a slavery or human trafficking offence. A Northern Ireland constable or an officer may also seize and detain anything that appears to be evidence of that offence. The exception to this is any materials that the constable or officer has reasonable grounds to suspect are subject to legal privilege.
Paragraph 23 of Schedule 2 requires the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland to prepare and issue a code of practice to be followed by Northern Ireland constables and enforcement officers when arresting a person under the power conferred by paragraph 22 of Schedule 2 to the MS Act.
A draft code is set out at pages 9 to 14 of the consultation document. It sets out the procedures to be followed by Northern Ireland constables and enforcement officers when exercising the paragraph 22(2) power of arrest. Guidance on the procedural safeguards for arrested persons is provided, including information to be given on arrest; terms of the caution; detention conditions; and records of arrest.